Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum

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Next steps for UK fisheries - trade, opportunities, policy, sustainability and support

February 2021


Price: £95 PLUS VAT
Format: DOWNLOADABLE PDF


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***
This conference will be an early opportunity to discuss key developments in UK fisheries policy and implementation of the Fisheries Act following the end of the EU exit transition period and the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.


We are delighted to be able to include a keynote contribution from Fisheries Minister, Victoria Prentis MP.


The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from Defra; DfT; the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; DIT; and the Welsh Government.


The agenda:


  • UK fisheries policy and key priorities
  • Opportunities going forward for UK fisheries and next steps for policy
  • Developing fair and competitive practices around trade and quotas
  • Strategic priorities for fisheries management across the UK
  • The role of regulation in fisheries and marine life protection
  • Fisheries within the wider maritime and ports environment
  • Implementing sustainable fisheries management and protecting marine life

Relevant developments:


  • The end of the transition period and the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement­ - with the MMO and devolved administrations issuing new fishing licences
  • the Fisheries Act - with provisions on fishing rights as the UK leaves EU agreements, conservation, support for the fishing industry and ports, and for the Marine Management Organisation
  • international agreements:
    • UK and Norway sign historic fisheries agreement - including annual agreements on quotas and access to waters for the two countries
    • a further UK agreement with the Faroe Islands, and a bilateral arrangements with Iceland and Greenland
  • The Marine Management Organisation fast-tracks grants to help England’s ports and fishing industry - the MMO inviting applications for grants to help ports or harbours impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and seeking views on managing fisheries in Marine Protection Areas
  • International Fisheries Management - the Government’s recent outline of developments and its policy approach for managing shared and international fisheries, working with other coastal states, RFMOs, the UN and other supranational organisations, and with devolved UK governments
  • UK signs agreement with ICES demonstrating commitment to international marine science collaboration - Defra announcing cooperation with the International Council of the Exploration of the Sea on conservation, protection, the sustainable use of the marine environment and sustainable fisheries

Key areas for discussion:


  • the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement­, further trade agreements and next steps for policy and implementation
    • assessing UK-EU trade deal outcomes - what they mean for the future of UK fisheries:
    • supporting fair trading - how best to determine which fish stocks fall under each territorial water in order to agree and develop the quotas
    • future opportunities
  • internal UK relationships - the future for strategic coordination between the UK government and devolved administrations:
    • the shape of future joint working, with provisions in the Fisheries Act for a Joint Fisheries Statement to coordinate fisheries management and planning for sustainable stocks
    • priorities for the UK’s devolved administrations and for equitable sharing of opportunities, benefits and other outcomes of agreements with the EU and more widely
  • sustainable fisheries management
    • the legislative framework - provisions and safeguards in the Fisheries Act and whether they go far enough, further priorities, and options for addressing concerns over possible loopholes
    • climate-smart fishing - implementation priorities and the impact of the Act in setting out a plan for protecting marine species
    • international leadership - the UK as a champion in sustainable fisheries policy and practice, and working with other coastal states on sustainability and marine species protection
    • regulation - the role of the Marine Management Organisation as it takes on powers to manage fishing activity and provide advice and guidance on sustainable fisheries
    • support and funding - replacing the EU European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and what social, economic and employment support is most needed by the fishing industry and communities
  • the wider policy environment:
    • levelling-up and green recovery policy agendas - the role of fisheries and how they can be supported going forward to realise benefits and access funding and support
    • innovation - the development of Free Ports and development of the modernisation and digitisation of ports
    • the Government’s Maritime 2050 vision with its ambitions to improve the safety, employment protections and performance of the fishing industry, as well as on addressing environmental and climate challenges

Policy officials attending:


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons, and officials from BEIS; Defra; the Department of International Trade; the Department for Transport; the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; the Isle of Man Government; and the Welsh Government.
Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government officials in this area of public policy, together with other stakeholders concerned with or affected by developments in UK fisheries policy, including food market and supply chain personnel, fisherman and fishery advocacy groups, foreign embassies, conservation authorities, local government, environmental campaigners, members from the wider ports and maritime sector, scientists, academics and researchers, as well as members of the national and trade media.


This is a full-scale conference taking place online***


  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference



This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles