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Commercial Fishing



Anthony Mangnall MP leads parliamentary debate on the Inshore Fishing Fleet. On 14th June, Anthony Mangnall MP (Totnes) led a debate in Parliament’s Westminster Hall to draw attention to the issues facing the small-scale and inshore fishing fleet and to call for Government assistance.

During his speech, Mr Mangnall acknowledged the opportunities available for our coastal communities but called for greater clarity and cooperation between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Marine Management Organisation, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the Association of Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities and our fishermen.

Mr Mangnall highlighted the impact of the fuel crisis on our fishing fleets and how the UK seafood fund might be reorientated to mitigate this; how the new MCA safety code might be improved; the need for a balance between permitted fishing areas and marine protected areas; and the challenges presented by new technology such as IVMS and the Catch App.

There was a good cross-party turnout for the debate, with valuable contributions from Members of Parliament from across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Points raised included fishing quotas, the role of the fishing industry in food security, export difficulties post-Brexit and increasing levels of bureaucracy.

Minister for Farming, Fisheries and Food, Victoria Prentis MP, responded to the debate, acknowledging the issues raised and confirming her department’s commitment to working with the fishing industry. Regional fisheries groups have already been established to provide a formal forum for engagement between the inshore fleet and policy makers, scientists and regulators. The Minister also offered to meet Mr Mangnall to discuss his suggestion that the Seafood Fund be used to help retrofit vessels to make them more efficient; reducing costs and emissions.

Speaking after the debate, Anthony Mangnall MP said:

“I took the opportunity to speak up for the UK’s inshore fishing fleets.

Across our coastal communities, the inshore fishing fleets play a significant historical, cultural and economic role. Supporting them is essential to our rural and coastal way of life.

After two difficult years, a raft of new regulations and technologies, plus a fuel crisis, means that the pressures are significant on fishermen across the country.

This Westminster Hall debate brought Parliamentarians together with a common cause, generating a wide range of policy suggestions as to how we can support and develop this important sector. It served as a marker for what difficulties are faced and what needs to be done. I look forward to continuing this important work.”

Read the full debate here: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2022-06-14a.41.0&p=25868#g41.1