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REPORT: Displacement of fishing effort from Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

The number of management measures in MPAs in England that affect the fishing sector is expected to increase rapidly in the coming years.


The number of management measures in MPAs in England that affect the fishing sector is expected to increase rapidly in the coming years. The resulting displacement of fishing effort, unless managed, can have knock-on impacts on the marine environment, on fishers and on other marine sectors.

Natural England asked us to help them better understand the nature of potential displacement and its impacts as well as support the design, implementation and monitoring of management measures in MPAs.

Working with the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO) and ICF we reviewed literature on displacement of fishing effort from closed areas. We then looked at five case studies of displacement of fishing from MPAs and compiled information on existing management measures in England.

Natural England has now published the findings of our work in Displacement of fishing effort from Marine Protected Areas which includes methodology for the consideration and assessment of displacement of fishing effort, it can be downloaded at the Natural England website.

Prepared by Suzannah Walmsley, Fisheries Specialist