Call to fishing industry to help shape future

Crews, trawler agents and businesses who make their living from fishing are being invited to give evidence at a select committee in Plymouth which could help shape the industry’s future.

Councillor Jonny Morris, chair of the Council’s Brexit, Infrastructure and Legislation Overview and Scrutiny Committee is calling on those in the know to give expert opinion about the fishing industry at the committee on 22 August.

As well as giving evidence, they are being asked to help shape the recommendations for the Council’s proposed Plan for Sustainable Fishing, which aims to secure the industry’s future in the city. Their evidence will also help the Council compile its response to the white paper published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, ‘Sustainable Fisheries for Future Generations’.

Councillor Morris said: “We know that many Plymouth families are involved in the fishing industry, and there’s a huge amount of knowledge and experience right here. We need to harness this so that we can help shape the future of commercial fishing.

“With the prospect of the UK leaving the European Union, the industry needs to set out its stall, so that whatever form of Brexit we get, the fishing industry has a clear sense of direction and what it needs in the future.

“With Plymouth the administration port with the largest number of fishermen in the UK, it’s vital that we help shape the future of fishing in the South West.”

The call out is also being extended to colleagues across the region, in particular Brixham and Newlyn – who alongside Plymouth are the top three English ports by both catch and value, collectively landing over 30,000 tonnes of fish with a market value exceeding £73 million

He added: “We are also mindful of the contribution of the inshore fisheries around the peninsula. By coordinating efforts we would be able to act as a powerful lobby for the region’s fishing industry.”

The Council’s Brexit Overview and Scrutiny Panel has set up the select committee to help shape local policy. It is looking at three questions – what the industry would like to see in the Fisheries Bill, what the balance between environmental protection and food production should be and how the fishing industry should be supported towards sustainable growth.

People can comment on the white paper

If you would like to attend the hearing as a witness email