UK - Scallop fishers, policy managers, and scientists, from the UK and France are meeting to develop a regional management plan for the economically vital scallop Channel fishery.
Building on progress made at a GAP2 Project workshop held in Brixham, Devon, in April 2014, a second gathering of fishers, scientists, policy-makers, NGOs and retail/processing representatives will take place in Port en Bessin, Normandy, France on the 11 and 12 February, 2015.
Putting the ‘scallop wars’ behind them, industry leaders and others with a stake in this valuable fishery will now seek to develop concrete plans to build a sustainable, profitable future for scallop fishing in the Channel.
Key themes of discussion for the event will include: improving data for the fishery, harmonising technical measures, and market-based discussions to build understanding on both sides of the Channel.
The neutrally facilitated event will strengthen collaboration between French and UK counterparts, which will be key to building a successful regional management plan, as explained by Giles Bartlett, WWF UK.
“We are really excited that Gap2 is putting on this workshop in France close to the area where the dispute happened in 2012.This shows how relationships have strengthened thanks to this work. WWF and the team are looking forward to making important progress during the course of the event,” said Mr Bartlett.
Paul Françoise of Comité Régional des Pêches Maritimes et des Elevages Marins - Basse Normandie (CNPMEM) said: “This GAP 2 seminar is especially the opportunity to meet our counterparts of the Channel fishing sector: UK, Belgium and Ireland. By pursuing dialogue begun through the North Western Waters Advisory Council (NWWAC) and during the 2014 GAP 2 seminar, we can hope for better understanding in order to manage together in a sustainable way the scallops fisheries in Channel.”
The workshop, which is organised and hosted by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) EU Oceans Programme, the North-Western Waters Advisory Council (NWWAC) and WWF UK, will:
- Bring together participants representing a range of interests and professions linked to the Channel scallop fishery.
- Share fishers’ and scientists’ experiences and perspectives for what it means to secure healthy, profitable fisheries in shared waters.
- Explore the benefits of achieving a regional management plan through co-managed approaches.
- Explore possible ‘tools’ to aid future management and design of the Channel scallop fishery.
Erin Priddle, EDF – EU Programme said: “The workshop is a unique opportunity for scallop fishermen on both sides of the Channel to build consensus around the issues that matter most in securing a healthy and profitable fishery. This means embracing a partnership approach to help fishermen and others define their vision for the future and set the foundation for a successful fisheries management plan. ”
Consensus-building will be a focus of this GAP2 workshop through two full days of collaborative and interactive discussions. With strong attendance at the event from both sides of the Channel, GAP2 has high hopes for a sustainable future for the Channel scallop fishery.
It will be important to build on this momentum to ensure that talks continue to achieve consensus recommendations and take forward next steps.
TheFishSite News Desk