The momentous decision by the UK in 2016 to leave the EU was met with celebration by many in the fishing industry. However, since then the reality and complexity of the UK’s situation has become apparent, exemplified by the fact that four years later, UK fisheries are still managed by the EU.
Nevertheless, UK fisheries management will eventually be reformed through Brexit and this offers an opportunity for greater ambition, for sustainability to take centre stage, and for longer-term thinking. Over the past four years I have been exploring how this might be achieved by extensively engaging with stakeholders and decision makers. While the developing legislation looks promising, ensuring its effective implementation, and establishing a solid agreement with the EU, is paramount if the UK fishing industry is to have a sustainable and prosperous future.
Bryce Beukers-Stewart is a Marine Ecologist and Fisheries Biologist whose work has ranged across temperate and tropical seas. He gained a BSc(Hons) in Zoology from the University of Melbourne, and a PhD in Marine Biology from James Cook University, before moving to the UK in 1999. The central goal of his research has been to better understand the factors regulating marine populations and communities, so as to ensure their conservation and sustainable utilisation.
Since 2016, he has been particularly involved with assessing the potential effects of EU-Exit on UK fisheries and the marine environment, working with a wide range of stakeholders and advisers.
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