Monday, 29 November 2010

Concern over lack of fishing industry representatives on new fishing committee

Concern has been raised that the fishing industry is under-represented on the new bodies which oversea fishing and conservation issues.

The old Sea Fisheries Committees are being abolished next year to make way for 'Inshore Fishing Conservation Authorities' or IFCAs and, whereas the old committees had large numbers of people from the fishing industry - representing all strands of the business - the new IFCAs are dominated by scientists and people from conservation groups.

I'm one of the Cornwall Council reps on the new body and, whilst I can't be precise, it does seem that there are only two or three people who are still involved in the fishing industry on the new group.

A balance obviously has to be struck. But with so many different types of fishing practised off our coasts - from potting, angling and long-lining to trawling and dredging - it is difficult for just a couple of fishermen to represent the different views of the whole industry.

The IFCAs were established by the previous Labour government. I wonder whether the new coalition will listen to these concerns and seek to redress the balance.

No comments: