Fisheries Management and Control Team
Marine Management Organisation
PO Box 1275
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE99 5BN

Tel: 0191 376 2597
Fax: 0191 376 2681


Re: Proposed amendments to the current licencing exemption effecting operators of engineless fishing boats of <10m.


Dear Hubert Gieschen,


Thank you for taking time to talk to me this morning.


I understand from Julie Fitton of Defra that she and her colleagues are currently awaiting advice from yourselves prior to making amendments to bring us in line with EU policy and that this will result in the termination of the current licence exemption.

With the watch-word 'sustainability' in mind and, more specifically, our proposal (enclosed); I write in the hope of influencing your recommendations!


Whilst the news that the new licences will be issued free of charge is welcome, we seek further assurance that operators of boats of this category will not be penalised or face other additional expenses as a result of your recommendations. For example:  expensive surveys and implementation of impractical legislation that would result from new requirements to formerly register such boats.


We recognise that the growing use of kayaks is causing concern in some quarters and that there will be a need to control the take; however, we are particularly anxious that the use of sail and oar is not penalised or banned simply because it is a 'new' initiative.


Responsible stewardship should actively encourage the inefficient methods of fishing we are proposing. One need look no further than The Truro Oyster Fishery for a unique example of why this is so.

This fishery has survived to this day largely because of far-sighted legislation that restricts it's operation to sail and oar. In 1992 an EEC directive requiring these vessels to register was fought by the Truro Harbour Master, Capt. Andy Brigden and won, with the intervention of the prime minister.  


Today there are ever-more compelling reasons for the authorities to adopt a much more supportive role as regards this small, yet potentially significant, sustainable sector.

We urge you to ensure that future directives are couched in such a way as to encourage the development of the use low-impact methods such as sail and oar in the interests of sustainability.


We hope this proposal will interest Defra and the Marine Management authorities and we look forward to receiving your support.


Kind regards

Jonny Nance

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