Case Study - English Inshore

England’s extensive fishing fleet is largely made up of smaller coastal vessels.

Catching everything from anchovies to turbot, squid and lobster, these smaller boats now account for about three quarters of the English fishing fleet.  

Though each boat’s catch will be limited by both its size and their customer’s demands, the combined haul of these vessels is a huge part of commercial fishing in the UK.

Due to the diversity of vessels, size of fisheries, scope of species involved and a lack of resources, research into inshore fisheries operations has been sparse, and thusly efforts by those involved to gain relevant certification has been a challenging undertaking.

Lead by Seafish, with involvement from The Shellfish Association of Great Britain and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), Project English Inshore was launched with the aim of mapping the English coast and offering fisheries guidance on whether an assessment for MSC’s Sustainable Fishing Standard would be viable.

Acoura’s fisheries team and the wider pool of industry experts, worked with the project’s stakeholders to develop a tool which would enable this information to be easily obtained from a dedicated online portal.

Breaking down the English coast into regions, the online MSC Pre-Assessment database allows fisheries managers to cross reference species with stock and gear types – giving them an accurate indication as to whether they would be able to enter full assessment for MSC certification.

This is the first time a project of this type has been undertaken in the UK. It’s our hope that the database portal will provide a first step for smaller, more traditional fisheries, to work towards improving sustainability, undertaking best industry practice and hopefully in time undertaking assessment for the MSC sustainable fishing standard.

You can view the database by CLICKING HERE.


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