This Royal Commission report on protection of the marine environment focuses on the impact of marine fishing in the seas around the UK, both on fish populations and the wider ecosystem. It consider a range of issues including the role of the fishing industry and its growth over the last 50 years; the legal framework for the marine environment and fisheries, at the national, European and international levels; the impact of fishing and the legacy of overfishing; aquaculture fisheries; marine protected areas; improved fisheries management; and a system of marine spatial planning. The report concludes that, as a society, we give much lower priority to protecting our seas compared with the land, and over-fishing is a global problem which has led to the collapse of fisheries in many areas. This situation requires significant urgent change which recognises the need for sustainable fisheries management and avoids the degradation of our seas, placing it within the context of wider management of human activities in the marine environment. Recommendations made include: the introduction of a Marine Act to establish a statutory framework with strategic objectives for marine environmental protection; a move away from a presumption in favour of fishing rights to a precautionary approach which requires demonstration that fishing activity is environmentally sustainable; establishing a network of marine protected areas within the UK over the next five years, which would lead to 30 per cent of the UK's exclusive economic zone being closed to commercial fishing; and a change in the emphasis of research away from management of fish populations towards a wider focus on the marine environment.... Strategy Unit (2004). 32 Defra statistics at http://statistics.defra.gov.uk/esg/ publications/fishstat/uksfs02.pdf 33 Figure compiled from UK sea fisheries statistics at: ... 40 Food Standards Agency (FSA) Scotland (2002). Consumption andanbsp;...
|Author||:||Sir Tom Blundell|
|Publisher||:||The Stationery Office - 2004|