SFF stands up for industry at conservation consultation – Fishupdate.com

SFF stands up for industry at conservation consultation Published:  13 July, 2006

THE Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) said today it was the only fishing industry representative at a DEFRA consultation on marine nature conservation enforcement last Wednesday. The consultants Royal Haskoning have been contracted by DEFRA to identify improvements that can be made to the current provisions for enforcement of legislation protecting many habitats and species within British waters.

Jane Sandell, the SFF Inshore Policy Officer said: “Even though much of the responsibility for this sort of work is devolved to the Scottish Executive, it is important for the Scottish industry to engage with DEFRA in this. Not only do we have members fishing within English and Welsh waters, but there is the potential for any changes to apply to waters outside the 12 mile limit in Scotland.”

This piece of work is part of a range of consultations on changes to the management arrangements for uses of the marine environment, including the Marine Bill and Offshore Marine Conservation Regulations.

Miss Sandell continued: “It is important to remember that fishing is not the only activity to have an impact on the marine environment. Many discussions on marine nature conservation tend to vilify the fishing industry, but there are plenty of examples of the industry participating in activities that improve the marine ecosystem. At the same time, there are many examples of ‘good’ users impacting on habitats and species that get conveniently forgotten at times like this.”

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