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Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL14099, tabled on 10 March 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to prevent, and (2) to monitor, fisheries bycatch to protect  (1) porpoises, (2) dolphins, (3) whales, (4) seabirds, and (5) other species sensitive to the effects of bycatch; and what methods they intend to use to monitor such bycatch.

Answered on

24 March 2021

The Government funds Clean Catch UK which is a collaborative research programme dedicated to better monitoring, reducing, and, where possible, eliminating bycatch of sensitive species in UK fisheries. We are taking a risk-based approach to implementing this, focussing on fisheries which experience the highest rates of bycatch in the first instance. As a known hotspot for bycatch, work is already underway in the South West of England. We are currently undertaking trials for a range of mitigation measures in different fisheries along Cornwall’s south coast and will be looking to include more fisheries in this over the next 12 months.

The Government remains committed to monitoring and enforcing our fisheries so that we can manage them sustainably. As part of this, we continue to explore the potential uses of Remote Electronic Monitoring alongside other tools such as observer coverage and self-reporting apps.