The MMO has been developing management measures to manage bottom towed gear fishing over rock and reef features in England’s offshore MPAs and from today (Tuesday 17 January), they are launching a formal consultation on the Marine Protected Areas Bottom Towed Fishing Gear Byelaw 2023, which prohibits the use of bottom towed fishing gear within specified areas of 13 MPAs in order to conserve rock and reef habitats.
In parallel with the formal consultation, the MMO are also launching a call for evidence on the impacts of remaining fishing gear interactions on seabed features in offshore MPAs in England. Three gear-group specific documents have been developed to establish the evidence base relating to the impacts of different fishing gears on benthic designated features of MPAs. They are now seeking views and further evidence regarding the content of these documents.
Their formal consultation and call for evidence will run from 17 January 2023 to 28 March 2023. The consultation and call for evidence material are available here: