Press Release – 10 May 2012     

The CCRI has been commissioned to undertake some research for the North Sea Regional Advisory Council (NSRAC) to explore the impact of different management approaches on fishing activity and to explore the ways in which vessel operators might adjust to the different management measures.   As part of the review process, the CCRI has been asked to contact vessel operators to explore their experiences of the Cod Recovery plan, and their views on a small range of alternative management approaches for fisheries.

The Countryside and Community Research Institute, which is an independent research organisation based at the University of Gloucestershire, invite all fishing vessel owners/operators to take part in this review by completing our on-line survey. It is straightforward and should only take about ten minutes of your time. The survey closes on June 4th and is available at https://surveys.glos.ac.uk/cod_survey

Once completed, the questionnaire will be collated along with all the others and the data analysed. It will then be presented to scientists at the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF), which is charged with reviewing North Sea and Western Waters fisheries management.

Barrie Deas, Chief Executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO) states, “This is an opportunity to influence the future direction of Cod management measures and I would urge fishermen to complete the survey”.   The survey is important as it is one of the few ways in which the views of fishermen can be directly heard by scientists on the STECF. Fishermen have been struggling to survive economically, and to reduce discarding of fish under the current Cod Recovery Plan, while operating within difficult constraints imposed by quota and effort restrictions. These are rather blunt instruments that do not adequately take into account the true nature of the mixed fisheries that exist around the UK coastlines. The aim of this on-line questionnaire is to explore a wider range of management options and control mechanisms that might provide more freedom for fishermen to exercise their judgement about when and where they fish. All the proposed management mechanisms come with stringent surveillance and monitoring requirements but do offer the opportunity for more flexible application of control measures. These are aimed at reducing discards of Cod and other species, while giving individual vessel owners and operators greater opportunities to use their knowledge and judgement in making the decisions that affect their livelihoods.

ENDS