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UK small-scale fisheries: status, devolved responsibility and the challenge of sustainability

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Publication date29/04/2020
Host publicationSmall-Scale Fisheries in Europe: Status, Resilience and Governance
EditorsJosé J. Pascual-Fernández, Cristina Pita, Maarten Bavinck
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783030373702
ISBN (Print)9783030373733
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameMARE Publication Series
ISSN (Print)2212-6260
ISSN (Electronic)2212-6279


Coastal waters around the UK provide richly diverse fishing opportunities for small-scale enterprises that make up 79% of the active fishing fleet but account for only 11% of overall landing value. In terms of size, fishing activity and governance the small-scale sector exhibits marked regional variation. Fisheries administration is devolved to the four constituent ‘nations’ (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and the analysis pays particular attention to contrasting systems of devolved local governance for inshore/small-scale fisheries in England and Scotland. Sustainable futures for small-scale fisheries are under threat from internal and external pressures: social renewal faces uncertain recruitment; fishing activity confronts increasing competition for space from conservation, recreation and renewable energy interests; and traditional forms of adaptive behaviour are challenged by restrictive legislation. An ideal governance landscape for building resilience within the sector is posited on the integration and empowerment of local institutional networks.