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UK Small-Scale Fisheries: Status, Devolved Responsibility and the Challenge of Sustainability

Part of the MARE Publication Series book series (MARE,volume 23)

Abstract

Coastal waters around the UK provide richly diverse fishing opportunities for small-scale enterprises that make up 79% of the active fishing fleet but account for only 11% of overall landing value. In terms of size, fishing activity and governance the small-scale sector exhibits marked regional variation. Fisheries administration is devolved to the four constituent ‘nations’ (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and the analysis pays particular attention to contrasting systems of devolved local governance for inshore/small-scale fisheries in England and Scotland. Sustainable futures for small-scale fisheries are under threat from internal and external pressures: social renewal faces uncertain recruitment; fishing activity confronts increasing competition for space from conservation, recreation and renewable energy interests; and traditional forms of adaptive behaviour are challenged by restrictive legislation. An ideal governance landscape for building resilience within the sector is posited on the integration and empowerment of local institutional networks.

Keywords

  • Adaptive response
  • Devolved governance
  • Resilience
  • Social renewal
  • Sustainability

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Fig. 17.1
Fig. 17.2

Notes

  1. 1.

    Situated within the same geographical envelope are two small self-governing UK dependencies: the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea and the Channel Islands closer geographically to France but with historical ties to Britain. Neither dependency is formally a member of the EU . Both have locally important small-scale fisheries, focused mainly on shellfish. Fisheries management agreements with the UK government permit locally registered boats to fish against UK quota allocations.

  2. 2.

    Several Orders provide for the allocation of shellfish beds among individual or groups of operators for purposes of cultivation, harvesting and renewal of stocks.

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Symes, D., Cardwell, E., Phillipson, J. (2020). UK Small-Scale Fisheries: Status, Devolved Responsibility and the Challenge of Sustainability. In: Pascual-Fernández, J., Pita, C., Bavinck, M. (eds) Small-Scale Fisheries in Europe: Status, Resilience and Governance. MARE Publication Series, vol 23. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-37371-9_17

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