Have your say in talks about industry demise

Fishing communities in Whitby and Staithes are being invited to air their views on current legislation is affecting the fishing industry locally.

Student Becca Korda is researching the marginalisation of small-scale commercial marine fisheries sector.

Over the past three weeks she has been travelling round the country to investigate how different regions have been, and continue to be affected by current legislation, and decisions that have been made about our industry.

Two meetings are to be held locally – at St Peter’s Church in Staithes on Monday at 3.30pm and at the Pier Inn, Whitby, on Tuesday, from 5pm to 6pm.

Becca says she would love to meet anyone who has views and would like an opportunity to air them in both meetings.

She explained what her research is all about.

“This project is concerned with the current marginalised state of the England’s small-scale commercial marine fisheries sector,” she said.

“The last 40 years have been a period of significant change for the UK’s fishing industry, with full-time fisher numbers declining by 58% and vessels by 26%.

“Given that 49% of the UK vessels are English, and 82% belong to its small-scale sector (MMO, 2013), the English small scale fleet has been disproportionately adversely affected.

“In turn, the long-term viability of many smaller fishing communities has also been impacted upon.

“If this decline continues, it threatens to be an economic, social and cultural disaster for many isolated and deprived coastal fisheries communities.”

This affects all aspects of the industry and with the demise of small-scale fleet, regional economies are also affected, not least by reducing employment both directly among the fleet but also among spin-off businesses such as fishmongers.

Becca wants to examine what underpins this situation and if and why the English small-scale fleet has been marginalised in key policy decisions.

“I will then investigate what solutions are possible, and in particular whether those solutions lie in local, bespoke adaptations rather than national strategies.

“I am interested in the voices within the industry and how/if it is possible to transform the top-down governance structure to allow for locally-led adaptive management catering for the specific social, ecological and economical needs of each inshore.”