The ten regional IFCAs in England continue to engage in the development of Fisheries Management Plans (FMPs). These Plans will shape the future direction of fisheries in England. Our research shows that many inshore fisheries are currently suffering from:

  • A lack of coherence in terms of inshore and offshore management which is leading to risks of overfishing;
  • A deficit in terms of management and governance for the offshore component of the fishery outside 6 miles, where a substantial portion of the mortality is taking place but there are fewer (often no) restrictions in place and the management bodies are not applying the precautionary principle, effective effort limits, or any component of ecosystem based management;
  • Data deficits include stock assessments, fishing capacity assessments and wider social and ecological impacts of the fishery; and
  • There are concerns that a two-tier approach to inshore and offshore management is cancelling out any potential and realised benefits of good management practise.

The FMP process is a key step forward in address these issues. To find our more about the Fisheries Management Plan process we have a dedicated webpage with links to how to engage in the process.
Bass FMP

Policy Lab’s dedicated phase gathering stakeholder views for the Bass Fishery Management Plan (FMP) has now come to an end. They have submitted a report to Defra and the Welsh Government containing recommendations for the FMP, which we are reviewing and will publish in due course. Defra and the Welsh Government will now draft the final Bass FMP informed by Policy Lab’s recommendations, as well as a separate evidence workstream and conservation advice.

Stakeholders will be kept updated via existing fora such as the Finfish Industry Advisory Group, Regional Fisheries Groups and the Recreational Sea Fishing Forum. A draft of the Bass FMP will go out for public consultation in the summer.

Please contact with any future queries or visit for details.

Channel demersal non-quota species FMP

MMO will hold a fresh set of quayside conversations with fishers in ports on the south coast to get their views on ongoing development of the Channel demersal non-quota species FMP. These events will start in February and you can find the dates and locations at