By Dan SmithThe UK government is wasting its money on a wasteful and inefficient management scheme, according to an expert who says it is a case of mismanagement.
The government’s failed marine fisheries plan is the biggest environmental disaster in the UK’s history, according a report from the University of Southampton.
The report says the failure is a direct result of poor management, which has resulted in the loss of hundreds of millions of pounds of economic activity.
The UK is not alone in the EU, the report says, and in the US, the Marine Fisheries Management Act is “so complex and poorly implemented that it is difficult to know what is in it, let alone why”.
This year’s marine fisheries report was commissioned by the UK government, which is now in the midst of a review of its marine fisheries strategy.
The government says it will make further changes to the strategy to improve management, but this week the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, said that it was a “failing strategy”.
The new report comes on the same day that a parliamentary committee recommended that the UK Government’s new marine fisheries policy be amended to allow for more flexibility in managing fisheries.
The new marine management plan is currently being debated in Parliament, and is due to be debated again next month.
The Government is currently considering whether to extend the fishing season from June to October, but the changes in the marine management plans have been criticised by conservation groups.
This year, the UK saw a total of 12,300 trawlers fishing in the Atlantic Ocean, with over a third of the catches coming from the Mediterranean Sea.
This is the third time the government has changed the way it manages fisheries in the past year, and the report points out that the lack of time and space for marine scientists and the public to get a better idea of how the plan is being implemented have resulted in a “mismanagement of information”.
The report, which was prepared by marine biologist Prof John Hogg and marine fisheries specialist Prof John Tuckwell, says the lack, or lack of, information around the new marine Fisheries Management Plan is an “unprecedented failure” in marine management.
“This failure highlights the fact that we do not have a well-functioning, scientifically informed and properly designed management plan, the results of which will inform our management decisions for the next several years,” it states.
It also says the plan has “significantly” reduced the availability of science information for public scrutiny and public input, with the government’s marine policy committee “effectively being run by the public and its representatives”.
The government has been criticised for the lack on transparency and transparency for the public in the response to the crisis, and for failing to properly consult with experts and scientists on the plan.
In the past, the government had said it had plans in place to manage the crisis in the years ahead, but now it appears that these plans have not been implemented.
The Environment Secretary has previously said the government was “not doing enough” to manage marine fisheries.
Prof Hogg said that the plan was failing to address the needs of the UK population, and that the government needed to “do more to give the people a sense of how it’s working”.
“There is not a single marine area in the world that is as vulnerable to a catastrophic collapse as the Atlantic,” he said.
“We have no idea how we’re going to recover from this.”
The report is also critical of the government for not releasing a detailed marine fisheries assessment (MFIA) report before the review, which would have shown the full extent of the problems.
The Government has said that an MFIA report would be released “in due course”.