Welcome to the APPG on Fisheries stakeholder newsletter. Through regular updates, we aim to keep you informed of policy developments, Parliamentary announcements and sector headlines. We also provide round-ups of current Committee inquiries and fisheries-focused monitoring of the Parliamentary record, Hansard.

Our third event for this parliamentary term was held last week, covering Marketing and Certification of UK seafood. Our blog post highlights some key discussion points from the #FishBrands event.

Parliament News

Seafood Innovation Fund to Reward Cutting Edge Innovation

The £10 million Seafood Innovation Fund has been launched to back new and innovative projects in the fishing and seafood industries. The programme aims to support projects that deliver long-term, cutting-edge innovation projects for all parts of the seafood sector. 

Annual Fleet Survey Open for UK Fishing Vessels

UK skippers and fishing vessel owners are being urged to take part in Seafish’s annual fleet survey. The survey collects data on the financial and operational performance of UK vessels to provide insight into the economic and social impacts of the industry. This year’s survey is open until September 2019.
New Approach to Allocating Additional Quota in England

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have launched a consultation on the future of fishing quota allocation, post-Brexit. Defra are seeking both data submissions and personal narratives of different quota management systems. The consultation, open until 30 August, will help shape how additional quota is allocated in England.

Department for Transport launches its first Maritime Safety Action Plan

Released as part of Maritime Safety Week, the Department for Transport plan aims to halve drowning deaths by 2026 and eliminate preventable deaths in the fishing industry by 2027.

Track the Progress of the Fisheries Bill

The proposed Fisheries Bill is set to replace the Common Fisheries Policy following the UK's departure from the EU. The Bill is over halfway through the House of Commons, and is currently awaiting the Report Stage. Track its progress here and read our digest of the Bill on the APPG blog.


UK Parliamentary Committees consist of a small number of MPs and/or Peers appointed to deal with particular issues. There are several Committee inquiries and reports relevant to the fisheries industry.

Sustainable Development Goals Inquiry

The Environmental Audit Committee held a one-off evidence session concerning the UK's Voluntary National Review of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 14 concerns our marine environment.

Scrutiny of the Fisheries Bill Inquiry
The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee launched a short inquiry on the proposed scope, provisions and powers in the Fisheries Bill. Their report is available and is awaiting government response.

Sustainable Seas Inquiry
The Environmental Audit Committee launched an inquiry examining how to protect marine life and how the Government can create a more sustainable blue economy. Their report is available and has received government response.

EU Landing Obligation Inquiry
The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee's inquiry concluded that the UK is 'unprepared for new fisheries conservation rules.' The government has responded to that report and the Sub-Committee's follow up report was published on 16 July 2019. 

No Deal Preparations: Energy and Environment
The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee is examining the UK’s preparation for a no deal Brexit. The investigation is ongoing and includes consideration of how a no deal Brexit will impact fishing rights in both the UK and EU waters.

Fisheries News

A round-up of the latest UK-relevant fishing news from a variety of sources.

UK Needs Approval as a ‘Third Country’ to Export Seafood to the EU after Brexit
The Food Standards Agency has asked businesses to confirm whether they intend to export ‘food products of animal origin’, which includes seafood, to the EU after Brexit.

Port Infrastructure Boost for Plymouth Fisheries
Plymouth Fisheries, the second largest fish market complex in England, is making a major investment in the site, following funding from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the Marine Management Organisation.

Defra to Add Highly Protected Marine Areas 
The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs plans to add highly protected marine areas to UK’s comprehensive marine parks network. Fishing and other marine activities will not be permitted to allow habitats to return to pristine conditions.

Constructive Discussion About the Impact of No-Deal Brexit on the Scotland Seafood Industry 
Representatives from Scotland’s Seafood sector say seafood exports to the EU must be protected in the event of a no-deal Brexit. 

House of Lords Inquiry Finds Fishermen Illegally Discarding Fish
EU regulations brought in earlier this year were designed to stop fishermen throwing unwanted catch back into the sea. The inquiry report found the new regulations have had ‘little impact’, but Scottish industry leaders do not agree. 

Research Shows Commercial Limits Can Improve Crab Catch Size & Quality 
Research conducted by Plymouth University and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the Lyme Bay Marine Protected Area indicates that introducing a limit on commercial potting could improve crab catch and quality.

APPG’s Marketing and Certification Event Explores Consumer Preference for Sustainable Seafood
Attendees at the APPG’s latest event discussed consumer preferences for sustainable seafood and how the industry is responding, including via different certification schemes. 

Hansard Monitoring

Hansard is the official record of debates, votes and ministerial statements in Parliament. Our newsletters gather together any debates or questions concerning fisheries that have recently taken place.

Question regarding the impact of no-deal Brexit on UK seafood exports

Discussion of proposed tariff schedules for agricultural and fisheries products

Question regarding international fleet access to Rockall waters

Question regarding the values of fish caught in the UK that is consumed locally, versus that which is exported to the EU and beyond

Fisheries considered in the discussion concerning 20 years of devolved government

Question regarding steps taken to encourage more school leavers to pursue a career in the fishing industry

Question regarding availability of funding for specialist life vests to improve fishing safety

Question regarding which programmes will be funded through the Seafood Innovation Fund

Question regarding plans to allocate funding to ensure the future of Brixham Harbour

Question regarding the number of funding applications granted to statutory harbour authorities

Question regarding funding for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund in each of the last five years

Question concerning whether the Environment Secretary will publish the UK fishing policy for the instance of no-deal Brexit

Question regarding the agreements in place for UK vessels to access non-EU distant waters in the event of no-deal Brexit

Question regarding likelihood of allocation Seafood Innovation Funds to future of Brixham Harbour

Fisheries discussion in debate proposing that a joint committee be established to investigate and consider the potential costs of a no-deal Brexit

Fisheries discussion in motion to introduce a Bill that sets targets to reduce plastic pollution

For more information, contact the APPG on Fisheries Secretariat

Katrina Ryan, Sara Mynott, Jacob Ashton and Rebecca Kaye
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