Solent Dredge Permit Byelaw Pre-Consultation

January 2018

Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) is seeking the community’s views on proposals to introduce a new Solent Dredge Permit byelaw.
The Solent is an important area for inshore fishing activities and its bivalve fisheries support a number of jobs and businesses in the area. Current trends and historic patterns indicate that intervention is necessary to enhance the sustainability and economic viability of these Solent fisheries.
Please click here to visit our News page to view the pre-consultaion document

Important Information on New Fishing Byelaws - Please Read

20th November 2017

New management has been introduced for methods of bottom towed fishing gear within the coastal waters of Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight following the confirmation of two new Southern IFCA byelaws by the Secretary of State.

These are the Solent Dredge Fishing Byelaw and

the Bottom Towed Fishing Gear Byelaw 2016.

Please click here to visit our News page with more information and links to the full byelaws

All fishers who plan to use bottom towed fishing gear within the Southern IFC District should be familiar with these new regulations. Southern IFCA officers will be working with the community throughout the district to ensure fishers are familiar with these new regulations and additional patrols will be organised to monitor compliance. Both byelaws are now in place and the measures will be enforced by Southern IFCA.

Important Information Regarding the Solent Oyster Fishery 

issued 09/10/17

Please click here to view the letter developed by the Southern IFCA to provide information regarding the regulations around the oyster fishery in the Solent for 2017/18.

Important Notices:

Bass Nursery Area regulations are in place from
30th April to 1st November
in Chichester Harbour, Langstone Harbour, Portsmouth Harbour, Southampton Water and Poole Harbour.

During this time, within these defined areas, fishing for bass, or fishing for any species of sea-fish using sand-eels as bait by any fishing boat is prohibited. Year-round prohibitions also apply at Fawley Power Station and in the Fleet.

Please click here to view the Bass Nursery Area information detailing the areas where the prohibitions apply.


Regulations for fixed engines are in force in Lyme Bay from 1st May

No fixed net may be set in the areas enclosed by the lines: from longitude 2°56.70’W (Western boundary of the District) to a point bearing 180° True and from longitude 2°41.40’W (East of Burton Mere) to a point bearing 211° True within one nautical mile of the shore as defined by the lowest astronomical tide during the period from 1st May to 31st July inclusive unlessthe headline of every fixed net is set at least three metres below the surface of the water at any state of the tide.

Additional regulations for the use of fixed engines apply across the Southern IFCA District from 1st April, please use the links below to view the legislation.

Fixed Engines Byelaw

Sea Fisheries Fixed Engine Prohibition


Fishing Under Mechanical Power regulations in force
in the District from 1st May

Between the 1st day of May and the 31st day of August in the same year both days inclusive no person shall use in fishing for sea fish any trawl net in connection with a vessel which is for the time being propelled either entirely or in part by means of mechanical power in that part of the District which lies within one nautical mile from any part of the coast (measured from the general line of the coast at mean high-water spring tides) between a line drawn true South along longitude 2 degrees 50.4 minutes West from the most southerly portion of the base of Golden Cap and a line drawn due South from Chesil Beach on a longitude of 2 degrees 33.5 minutes West.

Please click here to view the Fishing Under Mechanical Power - Closed Area byelaw


Bass Fishing 2017: Catch limits, closures and minimum size

Please click here to visit our News page and follow the links to the Statutory Guidance for bass fishing in 2017 and our notice to recreational fishers for sea bass

Report Suspicious Behaviour at Sea: Project Kraken

The IFCA Vision

Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities will lead, champion and manage a sustainable marine environment and inshore fisheries, by successfully securing the right balance between social, environmental and economic benefits to ensure healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and a viable industry.

Who We Are

Southern IFCA covers the inshore waters of Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight out to 6 nautical miles. We work both on land and at sea to balance sustainable fisheries with a sustainable environment.


The District contains a diverse range of habitats and species within European Marine Sites and Marine Conservation Zones and our evidence collection ranges from impact surveys to habitat mapping and underwater video footage.


Land and sea patrols monitor compliance with EU, national and local fisheries legislation and officers' conduct landing inspections and inspections at sea, as well as premises checks, often in close liaison with partner agencies


Southern IFCA aim to be seen and heard by routinely engaging with stakeholders, local organisations and the wider public through open meetings, lectures, presentations and attendance at local open days.
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