First female chair of fishing authority appointed

Margaret Chapman MBE
Margaret Chapman MBE

A woman has been appointed head of a fisheries authority for the first time in its 80-year history.

Councillor Margaret Chapman MBE, who is now chair of the North Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority – or NEIFCA – is also the first female chair of any Inshore Fisheries Authority in the entire country.

NEIFCA, based at Bridlington’s Town Hall, was established in 2011 to replace the Sea Fisheries Committee which had been in place since the 1930s.

“This is an immense honour and privilege,” said Coun Chapman, who also sits as a East Wolds and Coastal ward councillor on East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

She was elected earlier this year, after the previous chair George Traves MBE died.

Coun Chapman said: “I’ve some big shoes to fill and although significant challenges lie ahead, we have some fantastic officers and members and I’m looking forward to working positively with them all.”

She will be supported in the role by vice chair Carri Nicholson who has many years of experience working with East Coast fishing communities.

Malcolm Sims, the deputy clerk to the authority, said: “This is a very positive appointment for the Authority, Councillor Chapman brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the role and I wish her every success.”

Coun Chapman previously served as a Bridlington and Flamborough Harbour Commissioner and has a long history of involvement in the region’s fishing industry.

Her responsibilities will include deciding whether to approve bylaws put forward by the authority.