concerns about the SFP
20. We received the bulk of our written evidence
in September 2004, about the time the consultation process of
the SFP was beginning. Concerns were raised by witnesses about
the speed of carrying forward the SU report recommendations. The
Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish) described the length of
time taken between the publication of the report in March and
the beginning of the SFP in September as "regrettable".
The Anglo-North Irish Fish Producers Organisation (ANIFPO) stated
that "progress with [the Strategy Unit report] has been slow
and this is frustrating".
The Sea Anglers Conservation Network added that it was a "little
disappointed" with the speed of progress so far.
The Shetland Islands Council and North Atlantic Fisheries College
at the Government's failure to make
any positive or constructive response [to the Strategy Unit report]".
It went on:
the short answer to the terms of reference for the
Committee's inquiry into "what has been done to take forward
the proposals made
in the report" is "nothing".
21. Some reservations were also expressed about who
exactly would be involved on the SFP. The Shetland Islands Council
and North Atlantic Fisheries College stressed that, to ensure
an effective Government response, there needed to be an extensive
involvement of stakeholders within the programme. It claimed that
the response to the report was "too important to be left
to the leisurely consideration of a semi-secret group of civil
progress with the SFP
22. By the time we came to take oral evidence, between
November 2004 and January 2005, the general mood of witnesses
towards the progress made with the SFP was much more positive.
Seafish told us that it was now "encouraged and heartened
by not only by the progress that has been made [with the SFP]
but by the manner in which that progress has been made".
It explained that at the time of submitting its written evidence,
it was far less optimistic but that things had subsequently improved.
There appeared to be a widespread feeling amongst stakeholders
that they were actively involved in the process. Several commented
on the positive and constructive atmosphere during the consultations
of the SFP.
23. After initial delays in initiating
the Sustainable Fisheries Programme, we are pleased to see that
the consultation process is now fully underway, with extensive
involvement by interested and affected parties. We welcome this
as indicative of a new co-operative and involved mood in the industry
and look forward to the outcome of the programme, and the resulting
joint Government response, expected in the spring of 2005.
13 Ev 55, para 7 Back
Ev 56, Annex A Back
Ev 55, para 8 Back
Ev 115, para 1 Back
Ev 45, para 10 Back
Ev 74, para 6.4 Back
Ev 146, para 1 Back
Ev 147 para 5 Back
Ibid. para 6 Back
For example, see Q230 (National Federation of Sea Anglers) Back