New fishing watchdog chief appointed –

New fishing watchdog chief appointed Published:  16 December, 2009

A FORMER senior civil servant with a strong academic background is to head the new fisheries watchdog Maritime Management Organisation which replaces the Marine and Fisheries Agency next year. The MFA inspects the fishing industry around the English coast and also instigates prosecutions for various fishing related offences.

Steven Gant, who is thought to be an expert in geography and environmental sciences has been appointed chief executive of the MMO.

He has worked with Anderson Consulting (now Accenture) to help take forward their government related projects and, in the following 13 years, worked on both public and private sector projects including the agriculture and fisheries ministry DEFRA and HM Revenue and Customs.and Sun Microsystems in the US. He became a partner at an extremely early age and, before joining the MMO was the head of European pensions and social security practice for Europe, Africa and Latin America.

Chris Parry, chairman designate, said, ‘All MMO staff and stakeholders will join me in welcoming Steven Gant as chief executive officer. He brings a rare combination of personal attributes and professional expertise that will, I have no doubt, prove decisive in delivering our strategic objectives.’

The MMO’s responsibilities include: a new marine planning system, an integrated marine licensing system, and enforcement of sea fisheries, nature conservation and licensing using powers under the Marine and Coastal Access Bill.

In February the Marine and Fisheries Agency just before it changes to the MMO it will move its headquarters from London to Newcastle although it is thought there may be a regional office in the South West.