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Consultation launched into future of seafood industry

Friday, 6 January 2023

Views are being sought on a draft Fisheries Statement that sets out the aims and objectives for the Island's seafood industry and considers the future relationship with the United Kingdom following its departure from the European Union.

The UK published its inaugural Joint Fisheries Statement, in November 2022, setting the aims, objectives and policies that UK fisheries authorities will work towards under its Fisheries Act 2020.

Neither the UK Fisheries Act 2020 nor the Joint Fisheries Statement apply directly to the Isle of Man, which manages fisheries within its own territorial sea as separate British fisheries jurisdiction.

Member for the Environment, Dr Michelle Haywood MHK, said:

‘The Island’s seafood industry has a rich cultural heritage and history, and remains an important source of economic opportunity and national identity. It contributes to our Island’s food security, and creates jobs in our coastal towns and villages.

‘The UK’s withdrawal from the European Union Common Fisheries Policy has resulted in fundamental changes to the way in which fisheries are managed in British waters. For the Isle of Man, these changes have had a significant and tangible impact upon the opportunities and challenges facing the Island’s seafood sector, as well as the way in which the Department manages sea fisheries.

‘The draft Isle of Man Fisheries Statement sets out our aims and objectives post-Brexit, and I would encourage stakeholders and the general public to respond in order to inform the final text, which the Department hopes to present to Tynwald before the summer recess.’

The Island’s fisheries relationship with the UK and Devolved Administrations (DAs) is currently governed by the Fisheries Management Agreement 2012. The Agreement requires fisheries in Isle of Man waters to be managed in line with the UK’s obligations under the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy.

The Department now considers this to be obsolete and will therefore work with the UK Government and DAs to develop a new arrangement that is fit for purpose and is coherent with the UK’s status as an independent coastal state. To this end, the Department has given notice that the Island will suspend its participation in the 2012 Agreement later in the year.

The proposed Isle of Man Fisheries Statement will replace the Future Fisheries Strategy (2015), and is a comparable document to the recently published UK Joint Fisheries Statement.

The consultation document is available to view and download the consultation hub page.

The consultation will be open from Monday 9 January until Friday 24 February 2023.

Alternatively, written comments can be emailed to or by post to IoMFS Consultation, Fisheries Division, DEFA, Thie Slieau Whallian, Foxdale Road, St John’s, IM4 3AS.

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