Fisheries Minister Edwin Poots MLA has welcomed the introduction of legislation that puts in place the process by which NI fishermen should benefit from future fishing opportunities.
The Fisheries Act 2020, which provides the UK with a framework to operate as an independent coastal state, achieved Royal Assent on 23rd November 2020.
This is a key piece of legislation that will enable common approaches to be taken to fisheries management across the UK through the setting of high-level fisheries objectives – many of which will focus on the environment and on sustainability – and the development of a Joint Fisheries Statement and fisheries management plans.
Minister Poots said, “This Act is further evidence that the UK is leaving the grip of the Common Fisheries Policy and forging ahead with its own plans and policies as an independent coastal state.
“This is an important milestone for the fishing industry in Northern Ireland, but it is only the first step. We will work closely with the other UK fisheries authorities – and, importantly, with the widest range of key stakeholders – to develop a Joint Fisheries Statement and fisheries management plans.
“I am determined not only that our fishing industry should secure greater fishing opportunities having left the Common Fisheries Policy – and rightly so – but that we also remember the UK’s shared vision of having clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas. These are not mutually exclusive in any way.
“I am encouraged by the common ground that exists, and look forward to continuing this work with everyone who has an interest in ensuring that we have a sustainable marine environment for many years to come.
“This Act provides a firm foundation for achieving that goal.”