Fishing industry profitable & sustainable in the long term - PM’s Stategy Unit
25th March 2004
A modernised UK fishing industry can have a profitable and sustainable long-term future, says new report
The UK's fishing industry can be profitable and sustainable in the long term but must modernise to meet global competition, says a new report from the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit.
The report - "Net benefits: A Sustainable and Profitable Future for UK Fishing" March 2004 - (pdf 1.17MB) - which is published today, proposes a possible long-term strategy for improving the fortunes of the industry and the communities which depend upon it.
It emphasises that the plan's success would depend on bringing the industry and other stakeholders into a partnership with government over management decisions.
The report also says that that the fishing industry will gain more from the UK staying in the Common Fisheries Policy - but at the same time calls for major reforms to the CFP, especially to allow regional management of fisheries.
Prime Minister Tony Blair said:
"There is widespread concern about the future of the UK's fishing industry. That is why I asked the Strategy Unit to assess the issues facing the UK marine fishing industry and recommend action to create a stable future both for the industry itself and for the communities that depend upon it.
"I welcome the results and echo its calls for all the key players to come together to manage the resources - whether their interest is in scientific and environmental matters, the catching and processing industry, or in tourism and development.
"Now I want the UK to give a lead in reforming the Common Fisheries Policy - by pushing the European Union further down the path of managing fish stocks on a regional level. This will give us more influence over the type of management regimes that best suit our fishing waters. "
The report has been presented to the UK Government as well as Fisheries Ministers for Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, for their consideration.
Ben Bradshaw - Minister for Nature Conservation and Fisheries - was the Sponsor Minister for the Strategy Unit project. He said:
"The report conveys the very important message that the UK fishing industry can be profitable in the long term, provided that it modernises to meet global competition.
"It offers an extremely valuable and detached analysis of the situation in British fishing, which we must now use as the catalyst for taking the industry and its stakeholders forward.
"The report rightly says that a more developed partnership approach is needed if implementation is to be successful. We must now explore and discuss the report in depth, and it is important that this is a fully inclusive process."
Key recommendations of the SU report include: