The overall objective of this framework contract is to provide Natural England with high quality advice on European fisheries. Coastal and marine resource management in the UK and in Europe is gaining more
importance and undergoing some fundamental changes. There are increased pressures on the marine environment arising from development in a range of sectors including offshore wind energy, fisheries and aquaculture, dredging, pollution, mineral extraction and shipping.
The ecological capital of the marine environment on which a diversity of socio-economic activities and sectors are based, is constantly under threat. A large proportion of wild fish stocks in European waters are harvested in an unsustainable manner.
The UK has made a number of commitments including the Marine and Coastal Access Bill which will outline statutory powers. The European Union has been taking significant policy initiatives and actions in the field maritime affairs and fisheries management including the Common Fisheries Policy reform, an Action Plan towards an Integrated Maritime Policy and Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
MRAG and Consortium partners will provide advice as and when it is required by Natural England within institutional, policy, socio-economic and environmental frameworks. MRAG will be the focal point for the performance of the contract and will cover all administrative arrangements.