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.
Project UK has been developed in response to the demand from the supply chain, retailers, industry and NGOs. The project will commission an MSC pre-assessment to inform and develop an action plan for each fishery, which will identify improvements.
Nephrops are a commpercially important species of crustacean distributed throughout the northeast Atlantic from Iceland and the western coast of Norway in the north to the Atlantic coast of Morocco and the western and central Mediterranean. They are found predominantly in muddy sediment in which they build complex burrow systems, at depths of between 20 and 800m. Although they have a wide geographical range, there is no clear evidence of any significant migration between populations.
Total Annual Catch (TAC) quotas are set for each of the three ICES management divisions that overlay the Fishery, with total 2018 TAC set at 65,738t. Of this TAC, the West of Scotland, Irish Sea and North Sea Nehrops landed 42,622t (North Sea: 21,237t; West of Scotland: 11,842t; Irish Sea: 9,543t). Nephrops are predominantly landed by demersal trawl gear, accounting for 95% of landings, with the other 5% landed by creels. Scottish-registered vessels account for 67% of landings by weight, followed by Irish-registered vessels (27%) and English-registered vessels (6%).
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 2024, the FIP aims to address the following:
- Meet the 80+ score for each MSC performance indicator within 5 years (May 2019 - 2024) 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