Header
Home | Sitemap | Set as homepage | Add to favorites
  Search the Site     » Advanced Search
Sections
Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930



RSA Strategy - The Next Steps (Updated 07 Mar 07)

Feb 15,2007 SACN


At a meeting in London Today (15th February) RSA representatives met with DEFRA, and other stakeholders comprising the RSA Sub Group of DEFRA's Inshore Working Group, to discuss feedback to the previous draft of the RSA Strategy Document.

At times the meeting bordered on becoming fractious over some of the more contentious issues, but always remained civil and constructive.

DEFRA will now take on board today's discussions, and the feedback received from a number of organisations on the early draft document, and redraft the document in time for it to be presented to the Inshore Working Group meeting on 23rd March.

If the draft is accepted by the Inshore Working Group, it is intended that the strategy be widely distributed in the early Summer, at the beginning of a three month consultation period when individuals and organisations will be invited to submit their comments.

By then, the draft white paper marine bill will also have been published, giving a clearer idea of government intentions on a number of issues that will affect the RSA strategy, including plans to transform the current Sea Fisheries Committees who will be responsible for delivering some aspects of the RSA strategy.   

DEFRA officials confirmed that the process of defining and consulting on elements of the strategy will not delay work on delivering some potential benefits already defined. 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*** 7 Mar 07 ***

Added - DEFRA Minutes of the Meeting 15/2/07

(See also summary of comments recieved introduced to the meeting below)

Attendance List

Members/Organisation

Doug Beveridge - National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO)
John LeBalleur - Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society  (BASS)
Leon Roskilly - Sea Anglers Conservation Network (SACN)
Mat Mander - Eastern Sea Fisheries Committee
Richard Ferre - National Federation of Sea Anglers (NFSA)
Rob Blyth-Skyrme - Natural England (NE)
Tim Dapling - Sussex Sea Fisheries Committee
 
Agency
 
Alistair McDonnell - Marine Fisheries Agency
Mike Smith - Cefas
Steve Colclough - Environment Agency
 
Defra
 
Anthony Hynes - Coastal Waters Policy
Erin Priddle - Coastal Waters Policy
Nicola Clarke - Coastal Waters Policy
 
Apologies
 
Chris Venmore - Shellfish Association of Great Britain (SAGB)/Devon SFC
Graham Catt - Department of Culture Media & Sports (DCMS)
Nigel Proctor - National Federation of Sea Anglers (NFSA)

 Para Ref / Action / Owner

2.4 Cefas to confirm status of EC commissioned study on Sport Fisheries in the EU
 Cefas

2.4 Defra to circulate a Commission non-paper on technical conservation measures
 Defra

2.7 Defra to circulate fish pain document to members
 Defra

2.7 CEFAS to clarify whether note on limitations of using MLS as a management tool was circulated Cefas

2.7 Defra to contact DCMS on how a more joined up approach may be achieved
 Defra

3.3 Subgroup to consider the inclusion of links or definitions on what ‘Ecosystem Based Approach’ means and circulate to Defra/ Subgroup

3.4 Defra to consider the inclusion of specific objectives based on responses and discussions Defra

3.5 Defra to refer to socio-economic considerations, ‘RSA only’ species and voluntary measures when revising the draft Strategy  Defra

3.6 Defra to emphasise the importance in collecting data on early life histories of commercial species and reflect the need to join up with offshore fisheries and EC action when revising the draft Strategy  Defra

3.8 Defra to reword RSA Management section to more accurately reflect the aspirations of anglers  Defra

3.8 Defra to include in the Strategy a short list of benefits of licensing as identified in the planned Marine Bill Defra

4.1 Defra to incorporate changes and circulate draft 4 of the RSA Strategy by 2 March  Defra

4.1 Members to provide comments by 9 March 2007 Subgroup
 
Minutes

1.0 Introductions

1.1 The Chair welcomed members to the fourth Inshore Fisheries Working Group (IFWG) ��" Recreational Sea Angling Strategy Subgroup meeting and thanked members for attending.

1.2 Apologies were received from Chris Venmore, Peter Hunt of SAGB and Graham Gatt of DCMS.

1.3 The Chair reviewed the aim of the meeting, which was to agree revisions to the final draft and next steps with a view to presenting the Strategy to the IFWG in March.

2.0 Approval of minutes and overview of developments and actions since the last meeting.

2.1 Following the previous RSA subgroup meeting in December, Defra produced a revised draft (draft 3) of the RSA Strategy and invited comments from members to be submitted by 1 February.

The Chair thanked members for their contributions and said that their comments have been reviewed and will be taken on board (along with discussions of this meeting).

The revised version (draft 4) will be circulated to members for a final opportunity to comment before it is presented to the IFWG in March.

2.2 The Chair highlighted other developments including Defra’s Fisheries Contract, which will be discussed with a wide group of stakeholders through workshops around the coast.

The Chair invited members to comment on the Contract, noting that they may be interested in reviewing aspects relating to angling.

2.3 Another development since the previous RSA subgroup meeting was the angling stakeholder meeting, which took place on 13 December.

The Chair reviewed highlights and said minutes would be available to those wishing to see them.

2.4 The EA wished to make members aware of the EU Maritime Paper, which provides some useful background on available funding for green tourism, such as angling.

The Chair also alerted members to a study commissioned by the EC on Sport Fisheries in the EU.

CEFAS agreed to confirm the status of this report.

The Chair also highlighted a Commission non-paper on technical conservation measures which included references to angling. Defra agreed to circulate  this paper to members.

2.5 The outcome of the NFSA survey was queried (ref: Minutes, 12 December, page 4, para 2.6, bullet 4).

The NFSA invited members to check the website to view the results which would be published at the end of February on http://www.nfsa.org.uk.

2.6 For clarification, the NFFO noted their proposal to reintroduce MLSs did not extend to all species under the Technical Conservation Regulations. (ref: para 2.4 of the minutes).

2.7 The Chair reviewed the actions of the previous meeting. It was noted that:

 Defra were seeking advice from colleagues in Animal Health and Welfare on the current position, and would circulate the Cefas document on fish pain once received.

 Cefas to clarify whether document on limitations of using MLS as a management tool has been circulated.

 The DCMS success criteria for project funding was reflected in the Strategy, however, Defra noted that a more joined up approach was required and agreed to contact them on how this might be achieved.

Action: Cefas to confirm status of EC commissioned study on Sport Fisheries in the EU

Action: Defra to circulate a Commission non-paper on technical conservation measures

Action: Defra to circulate fish pain document to members

Action: CEFAS to clarify whether note on limitations of using MLS as a management tool was circulated

Action: Defra to contact DCMS on how a more joined up approach may be achieved

3.0 Open discussion on revised draft

3.1 The Chair suggested that since detailed comments were received on draft 3 of the Strategy, it would be helpful if the group focused on key issues they wished to discuss.

As previously noted, members would be given another opportunity to comment on the draft and minor amendments would then be considered.

3.2 It was noted that the Strategy needed to appeal to the wider audience who had not been involved in discussions to date. 

After discussion on the best format for the Strategy, it was agreed to draw out key messages in each section with the background text supporting reasoning and approach. 

3.3 There was further discussion on the use of ‘Ecosystem Based Approach’.

This was discussed at length in the previous meeting (ref: Minutes, 12 December, page 3, para 2.5).

It was resolved to consider the inclusion of several links or definitions on what ‘Ecosystem Based’ means, with subgroup members to suggest appropriate links.

3.4 It was felt by several members that the focus on ‘more and bigger fish’ (or wording of equivalent meaning) should be a key objective.

The EA added that the objectives should also relate to the environment .

Defra agreed to consider and reflect these points in the drafting.

3.5 When discussing Species, Stock Impact and Habitat Management, the NFSA noted that socio-economic considerations should be fully considered to ensure that decisions on fisheries management are effectively evaluated.

The concept of ‘RSA only’ species should also be better reflected in the draft, and it was further noted that voluntary measures should also be included as a possible tool for species management.

3.6 Early life-histories of commercial species were noted as a large gap in fisheries science.

It was thought that the Strategy could therefore place greater emphasis on the importance in bridging this gap. Members agreed a key point to flag was that the Strategy’s remit related to inshore fisheries, but that to deliver the objectives effectively there was a need to join up with offshore fisheries and EC action.

Defra would need to play a role in this.

3.7 The inclusion of the ‘golden mile’ was debated.

It was appreciated that while this was an aspiration for anglers, there is no evidence to support the case either way at present.

Specified areas were a more realistic approach, based on sound evidence and on a case-by-case basis.

A key action for the Strategy would be to start gathering this evidence.

Natural England added that there may be some areas of the sea where all activities will need to be stopped in order to protect particular habitats, communities or species from damage.

3.8 The Chair acknowledged the sensitivity surrounding RSA management, especially in relation to ‘bag limits’.

Angling representatives outlined the strong opposition within the angling sector to the concept of bag limits, particularly as an aid to enforcement rather than as a conservation tool to be applied alongside equivalent controls on the commercial sector.

There was debate on the most appropriate controls to introduce to the sector and it was noted that benefits would need to be realised before controls would be acceptable.

Defra agreed to reword this section and highlight key points, but it was generally considered that ‘bag limits’ should remain within the document, pointing out the use of this tool as a conservation measure with added benefits that would enable better enforcement of unlicensed fishing activities.

It was considered that this debate would be more appropriate for the implementation stage of the Strategy.

Action: Subgroup to consider the inclusion of links or definitions on what ‘Ecosystem Based Approach’ means and circulate to Defra

Action: Defra to consider the inclusion of specific objectives based on responses and discussions.

Action: Defra to refer to socio-economic considerations, ‘RSA only’ species and voluntary measures when revising the draft Strategy

Action: Defra to emphasise the importance in collecting data on early life histories of commercial species and reflect the need to join up with offshore fisheries and EC action when revising the draft Strategy

Action: Defra to reword RSA Management section to more accurately reflect the aspirations of anglers

4.0 Summary and next steps

4.1 The Chair thanked all present for a productive meeting.

The points raised had been noted and would be reflected in a revised draft (draft 4), along with the comments received on 1 February.

The tight timetable was highlighted - Draft 4 would then be circulated to the group by Friday 2 March and comments on this draft should be received by Friday 9 March.

4.2 After the revised draft had been circulated and commented received, Defra would produce a draft paper, covering the Strategy, with recommendations to present to the IFWG meeting on 23 March.

Members agreed a recommendation to consult more widely would be important and an opportunity for Members to comment on these recommendations would be provided.

4.3 Finally, the future of the group was discussed.

It was agreed to continue to meet with the purpose of reviewing comments and steering implementation of the Strategy, but on a when needed or bi-annual basis.

This would be put to the IFWG for their endorsement.

Action: Defra to incorporate changes and circulate draft 4 of the RSA Strategy by 2 March

Action: Members to provide comments by 9 March 2007

Coastal Waters Policy
February 2007

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

RSA STRATEGY v3

Summary of key issues identified in comments:

Strategy goals

The key objective should be measures for the improved management of fish stocks to deliver more and bigger fish of species of interest to anglers. Without this, the potential of the sector cannot be realised. The strategy is not clear on how this will be delivered.

Fisheries Management

Improved inshore management is vital for the successful delivery of the strategy. There is concern that Sea Fisheries Committees as currently formulated are too focused on the commercial catching sector and so not in a position to take account of anglers requirements. The current make-up remit and focus of the Committees needs to change, and the Marine Bill will be important in this respect.

Species Management

Exploration of recreation-only status for species of interest to anglers, as recommended by Net Benefits, should not be ruled out by the strategy. A number of these species are likely to be of little or no commercial interest.

RSA Controls

There is too much emphasis in the strategy on management and controls, e.g. licensing and bag limits. Some suggest controls should not feature in a strategy for the development of the angling experience; others suggest that the strategy needs to clearly outline the benefits to the sector of any increased or improved management.  There is concern that licensing and controls will be introduced before any benefits to the angling sector have been demonstrated and that any funds generated from a licence fee would be used to rectify existing faults in the management of stocks.

Tone

Some have commented that the tone of the document is not sufficiently bold or positive enough. To reach out effectively to anglers, the strategy needs to be more concise and clearer in its objectives and purpose.

Communications

Given the importance of the strategy to the recreational sector and the relatively small number of people involved in its drafting to date, wider consultation and communication will be necessary to ensure the document covers and reflects anglers needs effectively.


Coastal Waters Policy
FIMD
February 2007



4407 views

Related news

» Work Proceeding on RSA Strategy
by SACN posted on Dec 12,2006
» RSA Strategy Approved for Consultation
by SACN posted on Mar 23,2007
» DEFRA meet with RSA Representatives (Updated 23 feb 07)
by Leon posted on Dec 14,2006
» The RSA Strategy is Coming
by SACN posted on Oct 11,2007
» RSA Strategy Update
by SACN posted on Jul 09,2008

comment Comments (0 posted) 

More Top News
News
Conservation and Political News
Opinion
Most Popular
Most Commented