Press release

English traditional coastal fisheries make plans for future generations

June 8, 2012

In a world first this week, and coinciding with World Oceans Day, a partnership of retailers, suppliers, NGOs and the fishing industry is launching a unique project targeting the future sustainability of England’s traditional coastal fisheries. Project Inshore will – for the first time – map all of these fisheries together and provide sustainability plans for each of them, helping to secure seafood supplies from these traditional boats for this and future generations.

Small, coastal fishing boats, or the ‘Inshore Fleet’, make up nearly three quarters of England’s fishing fleet. The rich array of seafood they serve up also presents unique scientific challenges for fishery managers. Relatively small landings per vessel, with varying market demand from one day to the next, make it hard to attract investment for scientific research.

Ministerial support

Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon said: “The inshore fishing fleet is vital to our local communities in both the value they add to the economy and the jobs they provide. That is why it is so important that they can continue to fish in a profitable and sustainable way.

“This project should help to ensure that our inshore fleet can continue to flourish, that fish stocks are managed sustainably and our marine environment is given the protection it needs.”

About Project Inshore

The new project, led by Seafish, the industry authority, will use assessments based on the Marine Stewardship Council Standard for sustainable fishing to produce tailored sustainability reports for every fishery around the English coast– around 7,000 boats. These will provide a roadmap that highlights best practice and provides an independent evidence base to attract targeted investment in further scientific research.

For some of the fisheries, this project may offer the opportunity to enter full assessment for MSC certification. For others they will have a clear plan to enable – in time – all English inshore fisheries to work towards the benefits of third party certification offered by the MSC.

Collaboration of industry and NGOs

The funding for this £500,000 project comes from a diverse range of sources and was made possible only through the unique partnership between them and the other partners supporting the Project Inshore:


Other partners in the project include the Marine Stewardship Council, Shellfish Association of Great Britain (SAGB), Seafish and Seaweb’s Seafood Choices.

By pooling resources, this delivers efficiencies that may otherwise be out of reach. The core aim of the project is to understand the status of the inshore fisheries, to ensure that stocks are being managed sustainably and that the marine environment is protected.

About the partners

For more information about each of the partners in Project Inshore, please visit their websites:

European Fisheries Fund          
Marine Management Organisation        
Marine Stewardship Council             
Marks and Spencers               
New England Seafood                
Sainsbury’s                   
Samways Fish                    
Seafish                       
Seafood Holdings                 
Seaweb’s Seafood Choices            
Shellfish Association of Great Britain         
Sustainable Fisheries Fund               

More Information

For media inquiries, please contact media@msc.org

Key facts about MSC



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