WA industry leaders invited to attend World Fisheries Conference

The historic Fishmongers Hall – the home of the Fishmongers Company which is a guild of sellers of fish and seafood which dates back to 1272. Image source: London Town

WAFIC Director George Kailis and WAFIC MSC Industry Project Leader Guy Leyland were invited to attend and take on the roles of  Speaker and Panellist respectively at the Best Practice in World Fisheries Conference, held in London 20-21 November 2017 at the historic Fishmongers Hall – the home of the Fishmongers Company which is a guild of sellers of fish and seafood which dates back to 1272.

The conference was organised jointly by Fishmongers Company and the Blue Marine Foundation through a committee which included key figures from all sectors of the UK fishing industry and from environmental groups.

Introducing the day, Nigel Bankes, Prime Warden of the Fishmongers’ Company, said that Britain had a once-in-a-generation opportunity to write a new Fisheries Law after Brexit and the day was an opportunity to see what did and did not work.

Presenters from the US, New Zealand, Australia and Norway spoke about their fisheries management and how it could apply to Britain. The four examples were chosen because the US, New Zealand and Australia are from common-law countries and therefore used the same legal DNA as the British system and Norway is a third state to the EU which has a history of reciprocal access and shared management in Europe.

Presenters were made up of lead speakers, who approached their subject with knowledge of the regulatory system, and panelists who represented civil society and the fishing community.  Each lead speaker gave a twenty minute presentation on their management system, then two panelists critiqued the speaker for five minutes on how effective the management system has been.

George Kailis, professor of management and law at the University of Notre Dame, Australia, explained that Australia was a federal system of government with no single fisheries law.  It has complex cross-jurisdictional arrangements which may have relevance to Britain and its devolved entities.

He recommended these should agree upon a single responsible authority for the management of particular stocks.  Scotland, for example, could take responsibility for managing the cod.

Guy Leyland described the history and structure of WAFIC and emphasized the need for industry and Government to work together through agreed policy and legislation. He highlighted the importance of determining agreed harvest strategies which set out the economic and biological objectives of individual fisheries including trigger points. He also briefly described the Integrated Fisheries Management policy governing resource shares between commercial, recreational and indigenous sector groups as well as the WA MSC joint industry and Government initiative.

For more information and to access the main presentations go to http://www.bluemarinefoundation.com/2017/11/23/11040/ or