Creating a new fisheries policy that will be both environmentally sustainable as well as economically viable. Replacing the CFP quota system with a fishing credits system that eliminates discards and rewards sustainability and community based fishing practices.
Here at Sovereign we are well aware that regional needs vary hugely around the UK coastline, blanket policy’s are useless as a one size fits all approach does not work with an industry as diverse as fishing.
We are proposing a Regionally managed Fishing credit scheme, where industry, science and environmental NGOs are working together to assess fishing opportunities and award credits based upon species stock assessments and the Sustainable nature of fishing methods used. All species count towards credits for an area to harvest. Endangered species use more credits, prolific stocks have a smaller credit score. All can be retained and so wasteful discards can be avoided. Once a ship or area uses all its credits the fisheries are closed until the next season.
This system will reward low impact methods with more credits, so rewarding best practice and leading the industry towards a sustainable economical and viable future.
We will work with existing marine conservation zones, and encourage science and industry-based cooperation to increase protection for sensitive areas and allow access only to low impact fishing methods.
We wish to actively encourage community-based fisheries, maximising local jobs and shore based services and value adding initiatives.
We will encourage greater cooperation with other stakeholders in the marine environment, pushing for mitigation rather than compensation for loss of grounds to renewables, we believe there are many opportunities for a cohesive and inclusive approach, sharing marine habitats for the greater benefit of all rather than restricting access or closing off areas.
We will also see the UK National waters returned to our control. Access for foreign vessels will be on terms agreed by UK gov and consultation with stakeholders.
The EU’s common fisheries policy has failed the U.K. fishing industry, compounded by neglect and apathy from successive UK governments. This must be reversed and our national resources returned for the benefit of UK coastal communities.