Project UK is working towards an environmentally sustainable future for UK fisheries by running Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) on 12 UK fisheries that have been selected by the UK seafood supply chain. They were selected due to their importance for the UK market.
Two species of monkfish (also called anglerfish), Lophius piscatorius and L. budegassa, are caught in an important set of fisheries in the western Channel and Western Approaches. It should be noted that the gillnet UoA is composed of (i) trammel nets (>220 mm mesh size) GTR and (ii) a combination of set gillnets (anchored) GNS, gillnets and entangling nets (not specified) GEN and gillnets (not specified) GN, all >220 mm.
Although separate stocks, these are managed together through a shared TAC. ICES’ advice is provided for both species separately but only L. piscatorius has reference points and uses a precautionary, MSY approach. ICES consider this to be a Category 3 stock where management is essentially based on recent trends, rather than well-defined harvest rules. Under P1, this Action Plan therefore seeks to address this through better single species management, a reduction in unwanted target catch through the development of alternative management measures and the introduction of probabilistic analysis of stock assessment e.g. include confidence limits.
In P2, a major part of the plan is developed to improving the major weakness of the fisheries identified by the pre-assessment, the management of secondary species caught in these fisheries. This will cover other fish as well as out of scope species such as seabirds and marine mammals, esp. for the gillnet fisheries, as well as ETPs. The Action Plan also looks at reducing the impact of these fisheries – especially the beam trawl segment – on habitats, especially VMEs. The plan also calls for a Scale Intensity Consequence Analysis (SICA) analysis of the impact of beam trawling on the ecosystem.
Under P3, the plan seeks the development of a fisheries -specific management plan that that includes explicit short and long-term objectives. This should formalise the existing harvest strategy and harvest control rules for both species of anglerfish. It also calls for external evaluation of the management of these anglerfish fisheries, possibly though a final pre-assessment before the FIP is concluded and the fisheries might be considering entering into full MSC assessment process.
Project UK is working towards an environmentally sustainable future for UK fisheries by running Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) on 12 UK fisheries that have been selected by the UK seafood supply chain.
By April 2022, the FIP aims to address the following:
- Meet the 80+ score for each MSC performance indicator within 5 years (April 2017- 2022) and be able to enter MSC full assessment.
- Support fisheries with the tools to implement changes and ensure their sustainable future as they move towards MSC certification
- Follow the step by step definition of a credible FIP involving four key stages, each with associated tools & support mechanisms:
- Undertake MSC pre-assessment
- Develop an action plan for improvement
- Implement actions & track progress
- Enter full MSC assessment
- Address and aim to improve all principle indicators scoring below 80 across the MSC as determined in the pre-assessments
- Use the model to establish a 'FIP conveyor belt' to identify, improve and certify UK fisheries
- Track progress consistently and transparently, producing review reports on an annual basis using a consultant body
FIP at a Glance