Making the European link


Figure 1. Example of Vessel Monitoring System data for demersal trawl activity of all non-UK vessels in 2009. Red circles highlight locations of international meetings © JNCCWhen Marine Protected Area (MPA) networks are established, scientific evidence underpins these key decisions but social and economic elements also have an important role to play. Active participation from stakeholders is an essential element of the decision-making process.


All European fishing fleets have an equal right to fish in European waters beyond territorial limits (out to 12 nautical miles), as stated in the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). From the small French vessels operating in the English Channel to the fleets targeting mackerel off the west coast of Scotland, over 1,300 international vessels operate in UK waters each year and of this number 95% originate from just eight countries.


Although it is difficult to put a figure on the landings value of UK catch to other European vessels it is clear that the designation of MPAs in UK waters could have an impact on their livelihoods. The input of these stakeholders is central to ensuring a non-discriminatory process and JNCC is working to include these international interests in the development of the UK MPA network.


During the summer of 2010, JNCC’s Fisheries Liaison team held 12 meetings in six countries attended by fishermen and their representative organisations (Figure 1 above). The discussions have led to parties from the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, France and Ireland being represented on regional projects in the UK. These links with international fisheries representatives will continue to be supported by JNCC.


Contact File


Johnny Murt

Senior Fisheries Liason Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1224 266578


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