Project to help protect fishing

Fisherman Phil Walsh with former UK Fisheries minister Huw Irranca-Davies (right) during a visit to the Hartlepool Fish Quay
Fisherman Phil Walsh with former UK Fisheries minister Huw Irranca-Davies (right) during a visit to the Hartlepool Fish Quay
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HARTLEPOOL will be part of a new £500,000 project designed to protect the future of fishing stocks for future generations.

Project Inshore will, for the first time, map all of England’s coastal fisheries and provide sustainability plans for each of them.

It aims to help secure seafood supplies for the country’s 7,000-boat inshore fleet for this and future generations.

The project is being led by Seafish, the industry authority, and supported by a partnership of retailers, suppliers and non governmental organisations.

Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon said: “The inshore fishing fleet is vital to our local communities in both the value they add to the economy and the jobs they provide.

“That is why it is so important that they can continue to fish in a profitable and sustainable way.

“This project should help to ensure that our inshore fleet can continue to flourish, that fish stocks are managed sustainably and our marine environment is given the protection it needs.”

The project will use assessments to produce tailored sustainability reports for every fishery around the coast.

It will provide a “road map” highlighting best practice and provide independent evidence which project leaders hope will attract investment in more scientific research on stocks.

Hartlepool fishermen say restrictive quotas prevent them from bringing more white fish, such as cod and haddock, back to shore despite “plentiful stocks” in the North Sea

Town inshore fisherman Phil Walsh, 40, said: “The quotas are not adequate at the moment because the stocks of white fish are very plentiful.

“Increasing the quotas would also reduce the amount of discards.”

Other partners in the project include the Marine Stewardship Council, Shellfish Association of Great Britain (SAGB), Seafish and Seaweb’s Seafood Choices.

A Seafish spokesman said: “The core aim of the project is to understand the status of the inshore fisheries, to ensure that stocks are being managed sustainably and that the marine environment is protected.”