Cockle FMP stakeholder meeting

The Association of IFCAs are Defra’s delivery partner for the English cockle FMP which is due for publication later this year. The AIFCA have arranged a series of regional meetings at which stakeholders can learn more about how the cockle FMP will affect them and the fishery in their district.

If you would like to learn more or have any questions about the English cockle FMP:

The meeting for the Eastern IFCA region will be held:

Thursday 18th January 2024


The Curlew Centre, Sutton Bridge

If you are interested in attending please respond to Katie at Kent & Essex IFCA

For more information on the English cockle FMP please see below.


Background information


What are FMPs?

FMPs are evidence-based action plans, developed with input from industry and other stakeholders. They will set out a range of policies, based on scientific evidence, that detail how fishing is managed, by stock, fishery, or location. FMPs will be based on best available science, fisher experience, and policy objectives through participation of key stakeholders. This will include fishermen, researchers, and regulators.


Why an FMP for cockles?

Cockles are found throughout England; however, the commercially productive cockle beds are predominantly found in very specific locations in Morecombe Bay, the Wash, the Thames, and Poole Harbour. Compared with other shellfish FMPs such as scallop, crab & lobster, and whelk, cockle stocks are not distributed over wide areas and do not cross fisheries regulator boundaries. Stock assessments have been regularly undertaken and feed into annual adaptive management measures which run under byelaw or regulating order legislation that has been approved by Defra.

It is within this landscape that a national English cockle FMP is going to be developed and function in the future.


What is the overall approach?

The aim in the development of the English Cockle FMP is not to review the complex and long-standing regional management regimes, but to place these systems in the wider policy framework of the Fisheries Act 2020 and the Joint Fisheries Statement. Defra’s ambition is that the Cockle FMP will work alongside long-established regional management regimes.

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