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Monty calls for debate on future of fisheries

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 07, 2012

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A BBC Question Time-style debate hosted by TV marine biologist Monty Halls aims to throw a new perspective on the future of fishing next week.

The star of The Fisherman's Apprentice will be taking an in-depth look at sustainable use of the seas and inviting audience members to quiz an expert panel and share their own views.

Joining Mr Halls on stage will be The End of the Line film-maker, author and journalist Charles Clover, South East Cornwall Conservative MP Sheryll Murray and representatives from the fishing industry and the science and environment communities.

Mr Halls said there were some big questions to discuss.

"For years our waters have been an open environment where fishermen have been able to pursue their catch with relatively few restrictions," he said.

"But the marine landscape is changing rapidly and significant areas are to be given over to renewable energy developments, marine conservation zones, and aqua-culture.

"So how do we balance the often conflicting interests of a sustainable fishing industry, food production, research and development of new technology and the need for a healthy, biodiverse sea?"

He added that these were some of the questions he would be wrestling with and given their importance to the South West hoped local people would come along and have their say. The debate – Sustainable Fisheries in a Changing World – is being held on Tuesday in Plymouth University's graduation marquee on the Hoe.

It is part of the Oceans of Potential Conference, which is a key strand of the Plymouth Marine City Festival.

Mr Halls saw for himself the issues facing the region's fishing fleets when he spent a year at Cadgwith Cove in Cornwall serving an apprenticeship and learning some of the traditional techniques associated with small boat-based operations.

To register for a place at the debate, send an email to: pde@plymouth.ac.uk

Anyone who would like to pose a question for the panel is asked to email it in the first instance to Professor Martin Attrill at Plymouth University Marine Institute, before the end of today, at: M.Attrill@plymouth.ac.uk

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