Marine Protected Areas: Fishing Vessels

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered am ar 23 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Ceidwadwyr, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what information his Department holds on the (a) nationality of vessels engaged and (b) type of fishing activity that took place in offshore marine protected areas in 2023; whether he has received reports of the use of (i) bottom trawls, (ii) dredges and (iii) other bottom-towed gear in offshore marine protected areas in the last two years; and if he will hold discussions with representatives of Oceana UK's illegal fishing and transparency team on monitoring fishing activity in marine protected areas.

Photo of Mark Spencer Mark Spencer The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is a devolved competency and the information provided therefore relates to England only.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) holds data on the nationality and fishing method used by all commercial fishing vessels in English waters. This data includes a combination of vessel monitoring system data and landings records. MMO monitors fishing activities, including within MPAs, on an ongoing basis. MMO is currently delivering an ambitious project to assess the impacts of, and where necessary, manage fishing activity in all English offshore MPAs. Part of this involves regular meetings with key stakeholders, including Oceana, and calls for evidence and public consultations.

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