“It’s an unfair question, and it’s not one I’m actually asking in such harsh terms,” ​​University College London student Max Dixon writes of the above question.

“Fishing is a crucial part of our common history and culture. They have been the foundation of communities up and down these islands for generations, from our naval tradition to fish and chips.

“Without this fishery, we would lose some of what it means to be British, but that’s the risk if we do not learn to manage our fisheries sustainably.

“This has been recognized by nations around the world, and governments have therefore created all sorts of initiatives that will theoretically achieve sustainability. These have been applied with varying degrees of success, and often the flaw in these policies is not understood by the government or regulators. .

“While this may be due to sloppy rules or application, there is one factor that has been increasingly recognized as essential in governance – fishermen’s trust in governing institutions.

“Fishermen are the main stakeholder in fisheries, and if you, the fisherman, do not trust your government, then why would you cooperate with its policies? No one cooperates voluntarily with the wishes of an organization or person that they consider unreliable.

“That’s why I am writing this piece to you today – to give you the opportunity to influence the institutions that govern our fisheries.

“My name is Maximilian Dixon. I am a master’s student at University College London at the Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources, and a researcher in the relationship of trust between fishermen and governing institutions under the supervision of Dr. Silvia Ferrini. My work is part of the Pyramids of The Life project created by Sustainable Management of UK Marine Resources, as well as part of my master’s thesis.

“I ask fishermen – primarily in the UK, but fishermen from the rest of the UK are also welcome – to participate in my research. I am already aware of some marked differences in the perception of trust by fishermen around the British Isles, and often, in certain areas, in the fact that different regulators are seen by fishermen in a very different light from each other.

“Participation would involve completing a 10-minute online questionnaire in which you would be able to express your views on the current state of fisheries management institutions in the UK, on ​​what works and on areas where these institutions fall short. .

“Which institutions are effective? Which are not? Which share your values ​​and which do not? What do you think are the problems with certain institutions?

“The results of this research will hopefully inform these institutions about where to improve their governance practices and how.

“If you might be interested in attending, go to the questionnaire here.

“I can not guarantee that your answers will see a change of attitude, but I can guarantee that I will take your views seriously and that the results of the study will contribute to the national discussion on marine management. It will include a summary in the Fishing News itself. , as I know read by ministers, officials, scientists, consultants, IFCA officers and a host of other people who seem to have a growing influence on what fishermen can and cannot do at sea.

“I look forward to hearing your views, adding them to those I have already received, and reporting back to you my findings in due course.”

This history was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fisheries sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single for just £ 3.30 here.

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