New data checks out the health of UK fisheries

In an effort to improve its knowledge of coastal resources, the Inshore Fishery and Conservation Authorities are working with Seafish to provide data on the health of fisheries around the coast of the UK.

As reported on The Fish Site, editor Lucy Towers says that the survey will contrast fishing zones against the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) baseline and identify issues of over fishing, stock depletion and pollution standards.

The department will be able to use the data provided by the programme – Project Inshore – to improve information and work towards the Government’s goal of creating a sustainable fishing industry.

The crab industry is just one example of a fishery sector that will benefit from the project; quotas and fishing areas are non-existent. The data returned will enable the ministry to make quality decisions that will be supportive of all the various stakeholders and move the sector towards sustainability.

The programme is being supported by Sainsbury’s, one of the UK’s largest retailers and a qualified member of the certified sustainable fisheries programme run by the MSC. Other retailers throughout the fisheries industry are supportive of the program as companies can see the benefit of environmentally friendly policies.

Sainsbury’s spokesman Ally Dingwall, its Aquaculture and Fisheries coordinator stresses that inshore fisheries are the backbone of the company’s fisheries supply chain. Mr Dingwall says that by 2020 the goal is to have 100% sustainable fisheries sold through its retail market.

The project is designed to run for 3 years and its goal is to make a sizable contribution to the maintenance of marine life around the coast of the UK.

Mr. Dingwall makes the point that Sainsbury’s, along with many stakeholders in the fisheries sector is determined to play its part in making sure fish stocks are sufficient to meet demand.