MPs and Peers with a keen interest in the UK fishing industry have announced a new programme of activity for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fisheries, establishing a cross-party Westminster body opening its membership to the fisheries sector.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fisheries, which has been meeting as a dedicated cohort of Parliamentarians with coastal constituencies and interests for a number of years, is now opening its doors to the fisheries sector in its broadest sense, to foster discussions around the future of the industry, and promote UK fishing, at the heart of Parliament.
Co-Chaired by Conservative MP Sheryll Murray and Labour’s Melanie Onn MP, and with an influential Parliamentary membership covering the four corners of the country, the Group will now welcome fishermen, fishing representatives, academics, environmentalists, retail and others into its non-Parliamentary membership for the first time.
‘It’s wonderful to see our industry getting serious recognition for everything it contributes to the UK – as a food-provider, an employer and a vital part of our culture,’ said co-chair Sheryll Murray.
‘We want to reflect that vibrancy of the industry in our meetings in Parliament, and we’re looking forwards to a new programme of events that will welcome voices straight from deck, the market, the fishmonger’s…this is an exciting time to be talking fish in Parliament.’
‘With fish processing being such a huge employer in my constituency, Great Grimsby, I was delighted to join Sheryll as a Co-Chair of the Group,’ commented Melanie Onn MP.
‘I’m now even more thrilled that we have the chance to broaden our discussions and welcome a new type of membership. I’m looking forwards to hearing directly from the industry on what their priorities are in 2019 and beyond.’
The Group’s programme of open activity will commence in spring this year, with events scheduled around key themes of interest to fishing, processing and coastal communities. Brexit will be on the menu, and the Group’s Parliamentarians are focused on a positive, common exploration of how the UK industry can continue to be a sustainability leader, an attractive employer and an innovator in the face of, and supported by, policy changes to come. The issue of recruitment into fishing careers takes centre stage for the first public event, to be held on Tuesday the 7th of May.
Supporting Secretariat services for the APPG, The Fishmonger’s Company welcomed the announcement of a new events programme for the Group.
‘This is a striking opportunity to convene valuable events around some of the big questions of the day for fish, fishing, processing and the supply chain, and it’s wonderful to have a group of Parliamentarians so involved in the issues at hand, and ready to contribute to these discussions so actively,’ commented the Company’s Fisheries Director Andrew Wallace.
‘This Group will showcase best practice, new ideas, and inform debate within both Houses – we encourage anyone with an interest to contact the Secretariat for more information.’