Fishing authority still waiting for clarity on what happens after Brexit

Seahouses Harbour. Picture by Jane Coltman
Seahouses Harbour. Picture by Jane Coltman

The impact of Brexit continues to be unclear for the authority responsible for fishing and conservation on the Northumberland and North Tyneside coast.

As at previous quarterly meetings of the Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (NIFCA), it didn’t take long for the UK’s imminent departure from the European Union to be mentioned.

During his update on the third quarter of 2018-19 on Monday (January 28), chief executive Mike Hardy referred to ‘the B word which looms over all of us’.

“We can only hope there’s clarity by or before March 29 (when the country is due to leave the EU),” he said.

During the quarter, the authority had met local MPs ‘on both sides of the political spectrum, which is really important so they understand what we do’.

“We were well-received at all of those meetings and they will continue this year and we will try to see Ian Lavery (MP for Wansbeck and chairman of the Labour Party), who we haven’t seen for a while,” Mr Hardy added.

In terms of Northumberland having a voice on the national stage, this may be boosted by the appointment of NIFCA chairman, Les Weller, to the role of vice-chairman of the national association, whose role is to assist and promote the regional IFCAs.

A recent event saw discussions with large numbers of MPs about marine protected areas (MPAs), for example.

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service