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New UK Fisheries Bill starts process to become law


Fishing the Blackwater Estuary 2012

Recreational fishing will be recognised as a stakeholder for the first time

A new law allowing the UK to manage its own fisheries outside the EU is beginning its passage through the Houses of Parliament.

The Bill, introduced in the House of Lords, will ensure the UK leaves the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy at the end of the transition period in December 2020.

Under the new Bill, recreational fishing will, for the first time, be recognised in law as a direct stakeholder in UK fisheries and will qualify for financial assistance from a funding scheme replacing the EU’s European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

The Bill includes powers to give the UK control of our waters, set fishing opportunities and reform the management of fisheries over time. Underpinning the Bill is a commitment to sustainability and it enshrines in law the Government’s manifesto commitments for sustainable fishing.

David Michell, the Angling Trust’s Head of Marine, said:

“For the first time in nearly 40 years, members of the public fishing for recreation and personal consumption of publicly-owned sea fish will be recognised and their views and requirements taken into account in how UK sea fisheries are managed.

"Businesses servicing the sector, which contributes a total economic impact to the UK each year of over £2bn, will now have the ability to influence the development of fishing policy which affects them and their employees, many of whom provide much needed jobs in costal communities throughout the UK.”

For more information on why the new Bill is so important for recreational fishing read David Mitchell’s article on pages 4-5 in the Angling Trust ‘s online magazine reviewing the best of our work from 2019.

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