UK - Buying fish through illegitimate sources damages the fishing industry, fish stocks and the long term future of the marine environment.
This is the message being delivered as part of a new campaign by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), which is appealing for the public to anonymously report potentially illegal sale of fish to Crime Stoppers.
The campaign was launched on 11 April 2016 at an event attended by representatives of the fishing industry including the National Federation of Fisheries Organisation (NFFO), the Angling Trust and the Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authorities (IFCAs).
The campaign is designed to promote adherence to the registered buyers and sellers scheme and to encourage the public to report any suspicions of illegal activity. Under the Registration of Buyers and Sellers (RBS) Scheme 2005, enforced by the MMO, only small quantities of fish can be purchased for personal consumption direct from a registered and licensed fishing vessel. Fish caught from recreational fishing activities cannot legally be sold and it should not be purchased.
The campaign will see the MMO work to raise awareness of the rules through the media, online and through stakeholder organisations such as the British Hospitality Association, Angling Trust, the IFCAs as well as the NFFO. Information will also be distributed to fish and chip shops across the country through Seafish.
Commenting on the campaign George Eustice, Fisheries Minister, said: “Illegal fishing damages our marine environment and is not fair on those who do the right thing and play by the rules. So we are working closely with UK Port Health Authorities, environmental groups and industry to tackle the problem.
"Everyone has a role to play from the hospitality trade and the fishing industry to law enforcement agencies and shoppers. I would urge anyone with suspicions of illegal fishing activity to report it so that we protect both our marine environment and the livelihoods of law abiding fishermen.”
Any suspicions of illegal activity should be reported anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.
TheFishSite News Desk
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