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28 February 2017,
Portsmouth Merchant in Court for the second time this month for storing undersized shellfish


Following a recent court bill of £34,700 a Portsmouth based fish merchant was in Court for the second time this month and fined over £14,500 after admitting to storing undersized shellfish on their premises on three separate occasions.

In Portsmouth Magistrates Court on the 27 February 2017 the Portsmouth based company Viviers (UK) Ltd. pleaded guilty to three offences relating to the storage of undersized Manila Clams and, at the same hearing Company Director Mr Eric McLeod, 72, pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a requirement to produce documentation relating to the shellfish inspected in those premises.

The Court heard how on 11 March 2016, a joint inspection was conducted at Viviers (UK) Ltd. involving Officers from the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA), Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculutre Science (CEFAS) where approximately 60 trays of Manila Clams in depuration tanks were found to be 75% under the minimum conservation reference size of 35mm.

The Court also heard how, in a separate incident, on 21 April 2016, a joint inspection was conducted at Viviers (UK) Ltd. involving Officers from the IFCA and CEFAS where over 70 trays of Manila Clams in depuration tanks and a further quantity on the shop floor were found to be in excess of 50% undersized. When Officers asked Mr Eric McLeod to produce documentation as to the origin of the shellfish he refused to comply with their request saying he didn't agree with the legislation.

In a third separate incident on 15 June 2016, a further joint inspection was conducted at Viviers (UK) Ltd. involving Officers from the IFCA and the MMO where over 160 trays of Manila Clams in depuration tanks were found to be over 47% undersized. On this occasion Mr Eric McLeod stated that the clams had come from Poole Harbour.

Viviers (UK) Ltd. and Mr Eric McLeod were sentenced for the three matters and all charges collectively. In sentencing the District Judge took into account Viviers (UK) Ltd. prior convictions for illegal fishing activity, including the recent matter in the same Court earlier this month. Mr Eric McLeod was ordered to pay £1,200 and Viviers (UK) Ltd. £6,000 in fines and the full costs of £7,544 were awarded against the company. Fines and costs totalleed £14,744.

Commenting on the case, Southern IFCA Deputy Chief Officer Ian Jones said "Minimum size legislation is an essential management tool to esnure that there is enough stock left on the grounds to support the fishery and the fishermen in the region that rely on them. Southern IFCA is committed to protecting these fisheries to ensure healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and a viable industry. This type of illegal activity puts legitimate operators at a disadvantage; by pursuing these matters vigorously through court we aim to support and protect the local fishery".

Mr Jones went on to say "This case is another good example of a joined up collaborative approach with other agencies that enables cost effective inspections to be carried out to satisfy the joint objectives of all involved. Failing to comply with Officers reasonable directions will not be tolerated and merchants are required to provide documentation and assist Officers where necessary in the execution of their duties".



17 February 2017,
Portsmouth boat owners £34k court bill for illegal fishing


Portsmouth based boat owners face a court bill of over £34,000 after admitting to the taking of undersize shellfish.

In Portsmouth Magistrates Court on the 16 February 2017 the Portsmouth based company Viviers (UK) Ltd., as the owner of the fishing vessel P11 Ask Me pleaded guilty to three offences relating to the taking and retention of undersize shellfish and the removal of oysters from a closed fishery.

At the same hearing Eric McLeod, 72, and his son Andrew McLeod, 49, as the owners of the fishing vessel P936 El Barco, also each pleaded guilty to two separate fisheries offences relating to the taking and retention of undersize shellfish.

The Court heard how, on 3 December 2015, Fisheries Officers from the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) inspected the fishing vessel P11 Ask Me at the Camber Dock, Portsmouth (adjacent to Viviers (UK) Ltd.) and found on board quantities of Manila clams and American Hard Shelled clams below the minimum size as well as a quantity of oysters which had been removed while the fishery was closed (due to the severe depletion of shellfish beds).

The Court also heard how, in a separate incident, on 5 January 2016 at Hamble, Southampton, Fisheries Officers inspected the fishing vessel P936 El Barco and found on board quantities of Manila clams and American Hard Shelled clams below the minimum size. Mr Eric McLeod and Mr Andrew McLeod, owners of the fishing vessel P936 El Barco are also Directors of the company Viviers (UK) Ltd.

Viviers (UK) Ltd., Mr Eric McLeod and Mr Andrew McLeod were sentenced for both matters and all charges collectively. In sentencing the District Judge took into account Viviers (UK) Ltd. prior convictions for illegal fishing activity, including offences in Wales and in Cornwall. Viviers (UK) Ltd. was ordered to pay £10,000 in fines and the total legal and investigative costs of £18,705.64. Mr Eric McLeod and Mr Andrew McLeod were each ordered to pay £3,000 in fines. Fines and costs totalled £34,705.64.

At a separate, earlier hearing the masters of both P11 Ask Me and P936 El Barco were also ordered to pay a total of £3,000 in fines and costs for the same incident.

Commenting on the case Southern IFCA Deputy Chief Officer Ian Jones said "Minimum size legislation is an essential management tool to ensure that there is enough stock left on the grounds to support the fishery and the fishermen in the region that rely on them. Southern IFCA is committed to protecting these fisheries to ensure healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and a viable industry. This type of illegal activity puts legitimate operators at a disadvantage; by pursuing these matters vigerously through court we aim to support and protect the local fishery".


13 February 2017,
Southern IFCA Volunteer Internships 2017


Southern IFCA is offering an exciting opportunity for three volunteer internship placements during Summer 2017. The successful applicants will lead the delivery of individual projects directly informing inshore fisheries management as part of the Authority's ongoing duties.

Internships will last for a period of six weeks between June and September, depending on the project, with an approximate commitment of 20 hours per working week. Working hours and location will be flexible; however volunteers will be required to work from the Southern IFCA office for a minimum of one day per week. Volunteers will be supported by a project mentor and as part of the placement Southern IFCA will provide training opportunities in key areas that enable volunteers to develop their experience and understanding of inshore fisheries management.

Information about the three individual project opportunities, together with the experience, knowledge and skills required can be found in the project role profiles. The Southern IFCA Policy and Guidance for Engaging Volunteers describes what volunteers should expect from Southern IFCA and how volunteers should conduct themselves whilst involved with the Authority.

To apply for the placements applicants should send a copy of their CV together with a letter outlining which project(s) they would be interested in applying for and explaining in no more than 1000 words why they would be suitable for the role. Applications should be sent to the Southern IFCA office titled '2017 Internships' by email (enquiries@southern-ifca.gov.uk) or post by 12 noon on Monday 6th March 2017. Full information on the interview arrangements will be sent to those candidates who have been short listed.


19 January 2017,
Second fine for unlicensed Poole Fisherman in as many months whilst a second man fined for transportation of undersized shellfish


At Bournemouth Magistrates Court, Ben Cooke and Luke Sharman both of Hamworthy, Poole were ordered to pay fines and costs relating to failing to comply with directions given by Fisheries Officers and landing and transporting undersized shellfish for offences that occurred on 3 February 2016.

On 18 January 2017, the court heard how Fisheries Officers were conducting a night time patrol of Poole Harbour when they heard the unique sound of a shellfish pump scoop dredge in the Wareham Channel. Officers became aware that an unlicensed vessel known to them was not on its mooring and suspected that the vessel migh be engaged in illegal fishing. Later that evening they observed the unlicensed vessel enter Moriconium Quay with two persons on-board, one of which they recognised as Ben Cook. Officers watched the vessel come out of Moriconium Quay and onto a mooring at Lake Road. There was now only Mr Cook on board who rowed ashore in a small tender and left the area shortly thereafter.

As Officers approached Moriconium Quay by land they saw Mr Cook and a male person now known to them as Luke Sharman carrying a white fish box containing shellfish towards an open garage in the residential area of the complex. There was also a dredge and auxiliary pump near to the garage. Officers identified themselves and both men dropped the fish box and, despite being given directions for Mr Cook and Mr Sharman to remain where they were to assist with an inspection of the shellfish, Mr Sharman closed and locked the garage door and both men then left the area.

A subsequent inspection of the fish box revealed a mixture of manila clams and cockles (predominantly manila clams) valued at approximately £400 where 94% of the clams and 100% of the cockles were under the minimum legal size. A sample of the shellfish together with the dredge and pump were seized as evidence and the remaining shellfish were returned to the water.

Shellfish dredging in Poole Harbour is managed through Southern IFCA's Poole Harbour Dredge Permit byelaw, a limited access permitting scheme designed to support sustainable fishing whilst protecting nationally and internationally important bird species and their habitat. Shellfish dredging in Poole Harbour is only permitted to permit holders, who must comply with a series of permit conditions that include equipment specifications, closed seasons and catch reporting that are designed and regularly adapted to ensure the fishery is operating in a responsible manner.

IFCA Officers are empowered under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 to board and inspect vessels, enter and inspect premises and vehicles and those being subjected to inspection, including the master and crew on vessels or any person in or on premises must provide assistance if it is requested.

Commenting on the case, IFCA Deputy Chief Officer Ian Jones said, "Officers conduct enforcement patrols at all times of the day and night that include weekends and this case should give confidence to legitimate operators that everything is being done to ensure there is a sustainable shellfish fishery in Poole Harbour. Minimum size legislation is an essential management tool to ensure that there is enough stock left on the grounds to support the fishery and the fishermen in the region who rely on them. Southern IFCA is committed to protecting the fishery to ensure healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and a viable industry. This type of illegal activity puts legitimate operators at a disadvantage and by taking these offenders to court we aim to support and protect the local fishery."

Mr Jones further added "Failing to comply with Officers reasonable directions will not be tolerated and we will pursue such matters vigorously through court".

This is the second time in as many months that Mr Cook has appeared before the Courts for similar offences and in addition to fines imposed on him in December 2016 totalling £2240, Mr Cook was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £1580 for this matter. Mr Sharman was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £480. Forfeiture of the dredge and pump valued at £1000 was also granted by the Court.

Any information relating to illegal fishing activity can be reported to the Authority in confidence on 01202 721373.



5 January 2017,
Poole Fisherman pleads guilty to obstructing Fisheries Officers and retaining undersized clams


At Bournemouth Magistrates Court, Andrew Skinner, 25 of Hamworthy, Poole, Dorset pleaded guilty to retaining undersized manila clams on board his fishing vessel and obstructing Fisheries Officers by discarding his catch contrary to the Marine and Coastal Access Act, 2009.

On the 5 January 2016 the court heard how on Thursday 15 October 2015, Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) Officers came alongside Mr Skinner's fishing vessel in order to conduct an inspection of the catch. Fisheries Officers located a small quantity of manila clams on board the vessel and after measuring a sample of the catch ascertained that 70% were under the legal minimum size of 35mm. As Fisheries Officers reported their findings to Mr Skinner and their intention to measure a further sample, Mr Skinner obstructed the Officers by throwing the remainder of the catch overboard despite being given numerous directions by the Officers not to do so.

Officers are empowered under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 to board and inspect vessels, enter and inspect premises and vehicles and those being subjected to inspection, including the master and crew on the vessel, must provide assistance if it is requested.

Commenting on the case, IFCA Deputy Chief Officer Ian Jones said, "Fisheries regulations are an essential management tool that include legal minimum sizes that protect juvenile stock. Inspections ensure that fishermen are complying with the rules, discarding catch overboard prevents Officers from fulfilling that duty. Southern IFCA is committed to protecting its fisheries to ensure healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and a viable industry. This type of illegal activity puts legitimate operators at a disadvantage and by taking these offenders to court we aim to support and protect the local fisheries".

Mr Jones further added "Intentionally obstructing Officers in the performance of any of their functions under the Act will not be tolerated and we will pursue such matters vigorously through court".

Mr Skinner was ordered to pay a total of £430 in fines and costs.

Any information relating to illegal fishing activity can be reported to the Authority in confidence on 01202 721373.


4 January 2017,
Bass Fishing: Catch limits, closures and minimum size


If you are a commercial or recreational fisherman for bass you will need to comply with the new rules for:

  • Where you can catch bass
  • When you can catch bass
  • How many bass you can catch
  • Minimum size you can keep


The statutory guidance on Bass Fishing: Catch limits, closures and minimum size can be viewed here.

 

Please click here to view a copy of our notice on New Regulations for Recreational Fishers for Sea Bass.



13 December 2016,
Fisherman fined for failing to comply with Fisheries Officers and navigating a vessel in a dangerous manner


At Bournemouth Magistrates Court, Ben Cook, 33, of no fixed place, was ordered to pay fines and costs relating to failing to comply with directions given by Fisheries Officers and navigating his vessel at such a speed and in such a manner as to endanger lives or cause injury in an incident in Poole Harbour that occured on 24 September 2015.

As a result of Mr Cook failing to appear at court on two previous occasions, on 17 August 2016 in Mr Cook's absence, the court heard how on the evening and in the hours of darkness on Thursday 24 September 2015 as Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) Officers approached an unlicenced fishing vessel in Poole Harbour suspected of illegally clam fishing, the vessel made off at high speed. IFCA Officers followed the vessel and recognised the person at the helm as Mr Cook and despite being given several directions to stop what he was doing in order for them to facilitate a boarding and conduct an inpsection, Mr Cook made several high speed dangerous close passes to the IFCA patrol vessel that led to IFCA Officers terminating the stop check attempts as they considered it too dangerous to continue.

Mr Cook had been charged with two counts of failing to comply with a reasonable direction given to him by IFCA Officers and also charges laid under the Poole Harbour Commissioners byelaws for; i) navigating a vessel without care and caution and at such a speed as to endanger the lives or cause injury; and ii) navigating a vessel at a speed exceeding 10 knots. The court found Mr Cook guilty on all counts.

IFCA Officers are empowered under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 to board and inspect vessels, enter and inspect premises and vehicles and those being subjected to inspection, including the master and crew on vessels must provide assistance if it is requested.

Commenting on the case, IFCA Deputy Chief Officer Ian Jones said, "This case is a good example of a joined up collaborative approach with Poole Harbour Commissioners resulting in the inclusion of charges for breaches of their byelaws. Failing to comply with Officers reasonable directions and putting IFCA Officers in danger by navigating a vessel at such a speed and in such a manner as to endanger lives or cause injury will not be tolerated and we will pursue such matters vigersouly through court".

Captain Brian Murphy, Poole Harbour Commissioners Harbour Master said "Dangerous behaviour in Poole Harbour will not be tolerated. Our 100% prosecution success rate continues, thanks in this case, to the joint working relationship we have with the Southern IFCA in Poole Harbour. Working with Southern IFCA and other authorities continues to be the most effective and efficient use of resources for byelaw enforcement."

On 8 December 2016 Mr Cook was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £2240 and in addition for his previous non-attendance pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a bail charge and fined a further £80.



6 December 2016,
Report Suspicious Behaviour at Sea: Project Kraken


There are over 11,000 miles of British mainland coastline which can be exploited by terrorists and serious criminals.

What to Report

You should report any unusual or suspicious activity near the UK coastline and in maritime environments immediately. This could include:

  • Crew who show signs of nerviousness or a lack of awareness of maritime protocols and customs
  • Vessels showing signs of unusual modification or minor damage
  • Increased activity at isolated coastal locations or at unusual times of day
  • Attempts to signal to vessels offshore or guide them into an unusual location
  • Strange patterns of payment, such as large amounts of cash
  • People testing site security or an unusual interest in site structures and wharfs


How to Report Suspicious Activity

If you see anything unusual or suspicious you can report it to your local police on 101, or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 quoting 'Kraken'.

If it is an emergency, call 999.

To anonymously report your information online, visit Crimestoppers.

Do not take direct action against any individuals or groups.




13 October 2016,
Temporary Closure of Shellfish Beds Byelaw


Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the above Regulation.
 
Temporary Closure of the wider Solent oyster fishery for the 2016/17 season excluding Portsmouth and Langstone Harbours and the section of Southampton Water North of a line between 50 50.61’N 01 20.52’W and 50 51.35’N and 01 19.76’W (this Notice should be read in conjunction with the current classification of shellfish harvesting areas).
 
All other byelaws and spatial closures will still apply.
 
The Western boundary closure will be from Hurst Point to Fort Albert on the Isle of Wight.
 
The Eastern Boundary closure will be the eastern loxodromic line from 50 46.90’N 0 58.18’W out to the Bay Closing Line which runs from church rocks to approximately 350m South of Selsey Bill as set out in SIFCA byelaws and up to the tidal limits within these boundaries.
 
A full text of the closure notice can be obtained from Southern IFCA 64 Ashley Road, Parkstone, Poole Dorset BH14 9BN on request or viewed on the Authority’s website at www.southern-ifca.gov.uk/byelaws  (or email enquiries@southern-ifca.gov.uk).
 
Further information on this and other legislation for the 2016/17 oyster season starting on the 1st of November 2016 can be found here.


26 September 2016,
Bottom Towed Fishing Gear Byelaw 2016 and Solent Dredge Fishing Byelaw                      Consultation closes on 5th November 2016


Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 Section 155 & 156, Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority intends to apply to the Minister for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for the confirmation of the following byelaws:

Bottom Towed Fishing Gear Byelaw 2016

This byelaw prohibits the use of bottom towed fishing gear in areas of the Solent European Marine Sites, the Chesil Beach and Stennis Ledges Marine Conservation Zone and Poole Rocks Marine Conservation Zone in order to protect habitats and species within these sites.

Click here to view the Byelaw
Click here to view the associated Impact Assessment

Solent Dredge Fishing Byelaw

This byelaw prohibits the use of shellfish dredges between 1st March and 31st October each year and between the periods of 1700 and 0700 hours each day within Southampton Water, Portsmouth Harbour and Langstone Harbour.

Click here to view the Byelaw
Click here to view the associated Impact Assessment

A full text of the byelaws and associated assessments can also be inspected at, or obtained from Southern IFCA 64 Ashley Road, Parkstone, Poole, Dorset, BH14 9BN.

Any person wishing to object to the confirmation of the above byelaws must send a statement of objection in writing to:

Marine Conservation and Enforcement Team
Marine Management Organisation
Lancaster House
Hampshire Court
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE4 7YH

(or IFCAbyelaws@marinemanagement.org.uk) within 28 days of the publication of this notice and must send a copy of this statement to the CEO at Southern IFCA, 64 Ashley Road, Parkstone, Poole, Dorset, BH14 9BN (or enquiries@southern-ifca.gov.uk).



13 September 2016,
Reporting Suspicious Activity


Southern IFCA (SIFCA) utilises a risk based approach to prioritise its compliance and enforcement activities and intelligence that is collated from a variety of sources that reflect current issues ‘on the ground’ that together maximise the efficient use of resources and help to reduce crime.
 
As the additional ‘eyes and ears’ of law enforcement, you can report suspected illegal fishing activity within the District by contacting SIFCA on 01202 721373 or by sending an email to enquiries@southern-ifca.gov.uk  Our Fisheries Officers will be pleased to assist with clarification of the rules and follow up on reports of suspicious activity.
 
Details of the local rules and regulations can be found on our website http://www.southern-ifca.gov.uk/byelaws  Other national regulations also apply, for example, the current bass nursery area legislation that can be found here http://www.southern-ifca.gov.uk/other-regulations
 
Fishing rules are often complicated and this reflects the differing management needs of the areas to which they apply. For example some forms of netting traditionally take place close to the shore and are perfectly legitimate. 
 
Although we encourage the reporting of illegal activity, members of the public ashore (or in boats) in the interest of safety should not put themselves or others at risk or harass commercial fishermen engaged in fishing and if in doubt give us a call for clarification.      



21 July 2016,
Poole Harbour Dredge Permit Byelaw


Notice is hereby given that the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority invites applications for a 2016-17 permit entitlement under the Poole Harbour Dredge Permit byelaw. There is a single permit entitlement available for the 2016-17 period, valid until 31st March 2017.

Applications should be submitted to the Authority using the Poole Harbour Dredge Permit Application Form with accompanying evidence to demonstrate that the applicant meets the criteria for a 2016-17 permit entitlement as set out in section 2.4 of the Poole Harbour Dredge Permit Access Policy. The Application Form and Access Policy are both available from this website or the Southern IFCA Office at 64 Ashley Road, Parkstone, Poole, Dorset, BH14 9BN.

The application period closes at 5pm on 18th August 2016, after this time applications may not be considered. Any queries please contact the Southern IFCA on 01202 721373 or at enquiries@southern-ifca.gov.uk.

Download a copy of the Poole Harbour Dredge Permit Application Form here
Download a copy of the Poole Harbour Dredge Permit Access Policy here


14 June 2016,
First Criminal Behaviour Order for IFCAs - Illegal fisherman banned from Poole Harbour


At Bournemouth Magistrates Court, Justin Chappell 32, of Hamworthy in Poole, was given a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) and pleaded guilty to several fisheries and Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) byelaw offences resulting from three separate incidents in 2015.

On the 13 June 2016 the court heard how on Monday 29 June 2015 as Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) Officers approached Mr Chappell in his unlicensed fishing vessel in Poole Harbour, he discarded his catch (suspected of being illegally caught shellfish) and despite being given several directions to stop what he was doing in order for them to facilitate a boarding and conduct an inspection, Mr Chappell made three high speed dangerous passes in close proximity to the IFCA patrol vessel verbally abusing and acting aggressively towards the Officers before leaving at high speed.

The following day on Tuesday 30 June 2015 IFCA Officers again approached Mr Chappell in his unlicensed fishing vessel in Poole Harbour in order to conduct an inspection but Mr Chappell headed deliberately towards the patrol vessel on several occasions at high speed in a deliberate act of aggression and intimidation causing one of the Officers to take evasive action in order to avoid a collision. Shortly after, Mr Chappell returned at high speed driving his vessel directly towards the stern of the patrol vessel before veering away and again leaving at high speed.

Finally, on Tuesday 6 October 2015 IFCA Officers located Mr Chappell's unlicensed fishing vessel unattended in Lytchett Bay, Poole Harbour. Officers seized an auxiliary hydraulic pump located on board that vessel that was contrary to the Southern IFCA Poole Harbour Dredge Permit byelaw.

IFCA Officers are empowered under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 to board and inspect vessels, enter and inspect premises and vehicles and those being subject to inspection, including the master and crew on vessels must provide assistance if it is requested.

Commenting on the case, IFCA Deputy Chief Officer Ian Jones said, "The successful application for a CBO is an IFCA first and the result of a collaborative approach to combatting criminal behaviour in Poole Harbour with our partnership agencies; Borough of Poole Safety Communities Team, Dorset Police and Poole Harbour Commissioners".

Mr Jones further added, "Failing to comply with Officers reasonable directions and putting them in danger by navigating a vessel at such a speed and in such a manner as to endanger lives or cause injury will not be tolerated and we will pursue such matters vigerously through court".

The CBO is in force for 3 years and Mr Chappell must not enter or be found on land or sea within Poole Harbour. 

In addition to the CBO, Mr Chappell received a 3 year conditional discharge for all charges that in effect means that if he is convicted for any offence over the next 3 years he will not only be sentenced for that offence but also for the offence he pleaded guilty to for this matter. He was also ordered to pay £700 toward costs and his auxiliary hydraulic pump was subject to a forfeiture order.

Any information relating to illegal fishing activity can be reported to the Authority in confidence on 01202 721373.


24 May 2016,
Two Portsmouth Fishermen plead guilty for failing to comply in facilitation a boarding/inspection of a fishing vessel.


At Portsmouth Magistrates Court, Pat Simmons, 57 and Mark Gray 36, both of Portsmouth, pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a reasonable direction given by a fishery officer to stop and facilitate a boarding of the fishing vessel Prosperity in order for them to inspect the catch contrary to the Marine and Coastal Access Act, 2009.
 
On the 24 May 2016 the court heard how on Tuesday 8 December 2015 Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) Officers observed the fishing vessel Prosperity P238 shellfish dredging in Portsmouth Harbour and subsequently attended the quayside at The Camber in Portsmouth in order to conduct an inspection of that vessel.  Fisheries Officers gave the master of the vessel Mr Simmons a direction to stop what he was doing and come alongside.  The crewman Mr Gray immediately started to throw the catch overboard.  Officers watched as Mr Simmons steered the vessel away from the quayside with Mr Gray throwing a total of four yellow sacks from the front of the vessel and then swiftly went to the stern of the vessel and threw a further two yellow sacks overboard and a basket of shellfish despite being given numerous directions by Fisheries Officers not to do so.
 
After a number of manoeuvres the fishing vessel eventually came alongside and Officers conducted an inspection and interviewed the master under caution.  There was no catch remaining on board the vessel.   
 
Officers are empowered under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 to board and inspect vessels, enter and inspect premises and vehicles and those being subjected to inspection, including the master and crew on vessels must provide assistance if it is requested. 
 
Commenting on the case, IFCA Deputy Chief Officer Ian Jones said, “Fisheries regulations are an essential management tool that include minimum landing sizes that protect juvenile stock.  Inspections ensure that fisherman are complying with the rules, and, by discarding catch over board prevents officers from fulfilling that duty. Southern IFCA is committed to protecting its fishery’s to ensure healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and a viable industry.  This type of illegal activity puts legitimate operators at a disadvantage and by taking these offenders to court we aim to support and protect the local fisheries.
 
Mr Jones further added “Failing to comply with Officers reasonable directions will not be tolerated and we will pursue such matters vigorously through court”.
 
Mr Simmons was ordered to pay a total of £2100 in fines and costs and Mr Gray was given a 12 month conditional discharge that in effect means that if he is convicted for any offence over the next 12 months he will not only be sentenced for that offence but also for the offence he pleaded guilty to for this matter.  He was also ordered to pay £55 towards costs.
 
Any information relating to illegal fishing activity can be reported to the Authority in confidence on 01202 721373    



21 March 2016,
Poole Unlicensed fisherman found guilty of assaulting Fishery Officer 


At Bournemouth Magistrates Court on the 18th March 2016 Jason Traves, of Goliath Road, Poole was found guilty and convicted of assault by beating contrary to the Criminal Justice Act 1988.

The Court heard how on the afternoon of 16th June 2015 Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) Officers were on patrol in Napier Road, Poole, when they approached Mr Traves who was working on his unlicensed fishing vessel. The CPS prosecutor told the court how Mr Traves then assaulted one of the Officers.

New regulations were introduced in 2015 by the IFCA which mean that only permitted vessels can fish with and carry a dredge in Poole Harbour. Prior to the introduction of these regulations IFCA Officers were ensuring that vessel owners were advised of these changes.

Commenting on the case Neil Richardson, one of the IFCAs Deputy Chief Officers, said 'The new regulations in Poole Harbour ensure a sustainable shellfish fishery and the IFCA has worked extensively with the local community to ensure compliance with the new regulations. The IFCA byelaws now ensure a balance between the protection of the shellfish stocks and the protection of habitats.' Mr Richardson further added 'Assaulting a SIFCA Officer in the execution of their duty would not be tolerated and we will pursue such matters vigorously through the courts.'

Southern IFCA is committed to protecting the fishery to ensure healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and a viable industry.

Mr Traves was dealt with by the court in which he was ordered to pay a fine of £150, costs of £325, plus a victim support charge of £20 and compensation of £50 to the Officer who was assaulted, totalling £545.



15 March 2016,
Marine Protected Area Regulatory Notice Byelaw


Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 Section 155 & 156, Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority intends to apply to the Minister for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for the confirmation of the following byelaw:

Marine Protected Area Regulatory Notice Byelaw

Under this byelaw the Authority will have the ability to introduce regulatory notices for the management of fishing activities within or adjacent to Marine Protected Areas, for the purpose of furthering conservation objectives and for the coherent management of sites. Regulatory notices may be issued or amended following a procedure defined in the byelaw, allowing the Authority to flexibly manage fishing activities and refine measures as the evidence base improves.

Click here to view the Byelaw
Click here to view the associated Impact Assessment

A full text of the Byelaw and associated assessments can also be inspected at, or obtained from Southern IFCA 64 Ashley Road, Parkstone, Poole, Dorset BH14 9BN.

Any person wishing to object to the confirmation of the above byelaw must send a statement of objection in writing to:
Marine Conservation and Enforcement Team
Marine Management Organisation
Lancaster House
Hampshire Court
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE4 7YH

(or IFCAbyelaws@marinemanagement.org.uk) within 28 days of the publication of this notice and must send a copy of this statement to the CEO at Southern IFCA, 64 Ashley Road, Parkstone, Poole, Dorset BH14 9BN (or enquiries@southern-ifca.gov.uk)



22 February 2016,
Southern IFCA Newsletter


We have published our Winter 2015/2016 newsletter! In this issue are articles on the Portsmouth Capital Dredge Oyster Mitigation Project, the Needles Marine Conservation Zone and the C-Bass Data Tagging Project as well as a Compliance and Enforcement Report and an article on the National IFCA Enforcement Course.

For all this and more, click here to visit our Useful Documents page.



08 February 2016,
Southern IFCA Volunteer Internships 2016


Southern IFCA is offering an exciting opportunity for six volunteer internship placements during 2016. The successful applicants will lead the delivery of individual projects directly informing inshore fisheries management as part of the Authority's ongoing duties.

Internships will last for a period of six weeks between April and September, depending on the project, with an approximate commitment of 20 hours per working week. Working hours and location will be flexible; however volunteers will be required to work from the Southern IFCA office for a minimum of one day per week. Volunteers will be supported by a project mentor and as part of the placement Southern IFCA will provide training opportunities in key areas that enable volunteers to develop their experience and understanding of inshore fisheries management.

Information about the six individual project opportunities, together with the experience, knowledge and skills required can be found in the project role profiles. The Southern IFCA Policy and Guidance for Engaging Volunteers describes what volunteers should expect from Southern IFCA and how volunteers should conduct themselves whilst involved with the Authority.

To apply for the placements applicants should send a copy of their CV together with a letter outlining which project(s) they would be interested in applying for and explaining in no more than 1000 words why they would be suitable for the role. Applications should be sent to the Southern IFCA office titled '2016 Internships' by email or post by 12 noon on Tuesday 1st March 2016. Full information on the interview arrangements will be sent to those candidates who have been short listed.


28 January 2016,
Poole Fisherman found guilty of transporting undersized shellfish and obstructing fisheries officers


At Portsmouth Magistrates Court Christopher Skinner, 25 years of Hamworthy, Poole was found guilty and convicted of transporting undersized manila clams contrary to minimum size regulations, failing to comply with a reasonable direction and obstructing fisheries officers contrary to the Marine and Coastal Access Act, 2009.

On the 27 January 2016 the Court heard how early in the morning on Sunday 16 August 2015 Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) Officers observed Mr Skinner arrive at Viviers (UK) Ltd, The Camber, Portsmouth in a Ford Transit van. As Officers approached the van they saw Mr Skinner with a large quantity of shellfish that had been unloaded from his vehicle. Officers gave Mr Skinner and others in the area a reasonable direction to remain with the van in order for them to conduct an inspection but Mr Skinner hurriedly left the scene later returning and obstructing Officers in the execution of their duty by behaving in an aggressive and abusive manner and threatening to drive his van through a fisheries vehicle preventing them at that time from completing their investigation.

Officers interviewed Mr Skinner under caution where he denied any knowledge of the shellfish. IFCA Officers conducted an inspection of the van and nearly half a tonne of manila clams (valued at over £900) and found that over 95% of the shellfish were under the minimum size of 35mm. Suspecting the shellfish had been removed from Poole Harbour (a Marine Protected Area) all the shellfish were returned to the fishery.

Commenting on the case Ian Jones, IFCA Deputy Chief Officer, said "The minimum size legislation is an essential management tool to ensure that there is enough stock left on the grounds to support the extensive fisheries and the fishermen in the region who rely on them. Southern IFCA is committed to protecting the fishery to ensure healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and a viable industry. This type of illegal activity puts legitimate operators at a disadvantage and by taking these offenders to court we aim to support and protect the local fishery.

Mr Jones further added "Obstructing SIFCA Officers in the execution of their duty and failing to comply with their reasonable directions will not be tolerated and we will pursue such matters vigorously through court."

Mr Skinner was given a 2 year conditional discharge for all charges that in effect means that if he is convicted for any offence over the next two years he will not only be sentenced for that offence but also for the offences he was found guilty of for these matters. Mr Skinner was also ordered to pay costs of £365.00.

Any information relating to illegal fishing activity can be reported to the Authority in confidence on 01202 721373.



26 January 2016,
Marine Management Organisation News Item on Fishing Restrictions for Bass 2016


The Marine Management Organisation has published an article on their website providing clarification and guidance on the new measures for bass in 2016.

"When the European Union (EU) publishes the annual regulations allocating total allowable catch and quotas to member states (the T&Q regulation), a number of new restrictions for catches of sea bass will be introduced. This article seeks to answer the key questions surrounding the new measures for commercial and recreational fishermen."


8 January 2016,
Memorandum of Agreement for Bait Digging within Poole Harbour


From 1st November to 30th March, bait diggers are asked to avoid key bird sensitive areas of Poole Harbour to help prevent disturbance to overwintering and passage birds of national and international importance.

This seasonal closure is part of a suite of measures introduced under the Memorandum of Agreement for Bait Digging in Poole Harbour, which establishes a joint approach to management of bait digging with the aim of developing and maximising opportunities to protect and improve the marine environment of the inshore waters in the Harbour and to further its sustainable use for the purposes of conservation of biodiversity, recreation, amenity and education.

The area of Poole Harbour is designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA), Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Ramsar site. The site is designated for a number of habitats and species of conservation interest and competent authorities have a responsibility under the Habitats and Species Regulations (2010) to ensure that these habitats and species are protected.

The Agreement sets out a number of provisions to avoid impacts on the Poole Harbour European Marine Site (EMS). In addition to the above seasonal closures for areas defined as particularly sensitive to disturbance, bait digging is prohibited all year round in the area north of the railway bridge in Holes Bay. Diggers are asked to avoid the remainder of Holes Bay between 1st January and 29th February. Bait digging is prohibited within seagrass beds all year round under the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority byelaw 'Prohibition of gathering (sea fisheries resources) in seagrass beds'.

Diggers are also reminded about the importance of backfilling any holes which are dug as those which are not backfilled can take many weeks to refill naturally (depending on the tide and wave action of a particular area). This can reduce the area available for feeding birds and can pose a safety risk to other users of the Harbour. Diggers are also asked to dig bait sustainably and adhere to all local byelaws and regulations.

The Agreement was developed in 2014 by the Poole Bait Working Group. Administered by the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, the Working Group brings together relevant authorities, nature conservation bodies and representatives of the industry with the aim to manage bait collection activity in Poole Harbour. The group hopes that the joint approach to management of bait digging activity will protect the marine environment in Poole Harbour whilst allowing sustainable bait collection to continue.

Sea Angling contributes substantially to the local economy and supports many businesses including those engaged with bait collection. The Agreement will encourage sustainability of the industry which in turn will support and contribute to sea angling across the Southern IFCA District and the wider south coast.

A copy of the Agreement can be viewed here.


14 December 2015,
Southern IFCA Officers are cross warranted to enforce the Salmon & Freshwater Fisheries Act (SAFFA)


Southern IFCA and the Environment Agency (EA) have been successfully working together on enforcement issues relating to migratory fish since the IFCAs were created. In August 2015 Southern IFCA Officers recieved training from the Environment Agency in a number of areas that included:

  • Awareness of reporting environmental incidents
  • Net Limitation Orders
  • Buyer beware
  • Catch and release agreements
  • SAFFA and Eel Regulations legislation
  • Salmonid and European Eel biology
  • Powers of Entry and Regional Byelaws


The Officers successfully passed assignments that give them additional powers with warrants usually held by the Environment Agency Fisheries Officers. The Officers recieved their warrants in September 2015 allowing them to work more effectivley to address migratory fish concerns in inshore waters with the Environment Agency in the coming years.

Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officers recieved similar type training by Southern IFCA and are cross-warranted accordingly enabling those Officers to address IFCA byelaw compliance issues detected in their routine enforcement patrol work. EA Officers undertake regular training to retain their understanding of byelaws and compliance issues across the Southern IFCA district. Both the EA and Southern IFCA will continue to undertake joint patrols and training days to ensure that their skills and knowledge are shared between the two organisations so that together they can deliver more effective enforcement of fisheries in inshore waters.

Here are some useful links:
EA incident reporting
Fixed engine byelaws
Net Limitation Orders
Buyer beware
SAFFA
Eel Regulations



01 December 2015,
IoW Fisherman receives another fine just 24 hours after appearing in court for a similar offence


At the Portsmouth Magistrates Court, on Tuesday 1st December 2015, Paul Lambert, 40, of East Cowes on the Isle of Wight, pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £4300 for retaining whelks below the minimum legal size on board his fishing vessel Katie P176, contrary to European Fisheries Technical Conservation Measures regulations.

On the 29th July 2015 Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) Officers conducted an inspection of the catch in that vessel alongside The Camber in Portsmouth. Officers located 11 sacks of whelks and found that 31% of the shellfish were under the minimum European size of 45mm.

Mr Lambert had appeared in Court on the previous day for a similar offence that had occured on the 25th February 2015 where IFCA Officers located 23 sacks of whelks and found that 39% of the shellfish were under the minimum European size of 45mm.

Commenting on the case Ian Jones, IFCA Deputy Chief Officer, said 'The whelk fishery in our District is very important to the local commercial fishing industry. Minimum size legislation is the principle management tool to protect the whelk and the taking of undersized shellfish undermines the purpose of such legislation and protection of juvenile stock. Southern IFCA is committed to protecting the fishery and by taking these offenders to Court we aim to ensure healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and a viable industry'.

Mr Jones further stated 'In 2014, Mr Lambert paid £1500 in Financial Administration Penalties for two similar offences and in July 2015 was ordered to pay fines and costs of £2620 for another similar offence. This type of recidivist offending has a direct impact on legitimate operators and as such will not be tolerated.'

Magistrates warned Mr Lambert of the consequences of being brought before the court for any further fisheries offences, as fines and costs would continue to escalate putting his financial position and livelihood in jeopardy.


23 October 2015,
Invitation to Tender - Oyster Translocation Project, Portsmouth Harbour


Southern IFCA, with funding from the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, is seeking services from fishing vessels local to Portsmouth Harbour to take part in an innovative ‘oyster translocation project’.

The project will put in to practice a translocation protocol for native oysters, prior to the proposed capital dredge in Portsmouth, so as to mitigate the impacts of development on the seabed and oyster populations. This protocol is designed to assist sustainable development of the marine environment and local fisheries.

Please click here for more information and to view the Invitation to Tender document.

The deadline for applications is Midday on 30th October 2015.



22 October 2015,
Solent Oyster Season 2015 - Closure of Shellfish Beds Byelaw


Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the above Regulation. Please follow the link to view or download the Information Pack that includes the temporary closure notice, maps of prohibited areas and details of current shellfish classifications within Portsmouth and Langstone for this season.


1 September 2015,
New Regulation for Recreational Fishers for Sea Bass


Notice for all recreational and commercial fishers for sea bass that the minimum conservation reference size has increased to 42cm from 1st September 2015. Please view the notice New regulation for recreational fishers for sea bass


8 September 2015,
Skipper and Owners of a 25 metre Scallop Dredger Plead Guilty to fishing in the Lyme Bay Marine Protected Area



On the 25th August 2015, at Torquay Magistrates Court, Mr Leigh R Shields and SRR Trawlers Ltd as the Master and Owners of the fishing vessel Harm Johannes PLN BM 51, pleaded guilty to 8 separate charges relating to fishing activity during a trip in December 2014 that included scallop dredging within The Lyme Bay and Torbay Special Area of Conservation. The Lyme Bay and Torbay Special Area of Conservation is an internationally important Marine Protected Area.

The prosecution resulted from partnership working between the Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities and the Marine Management Organisation. The offences included fishing within an area closed to 'bottom towed fishing' through byelaws of the Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority's (IFCAs) of Devon and Severn IFCA and Southern IFCA.

IFCA byelaws ensure that the Lyme Bay and Torbay Special Area of Conservation is protected. The IFCA byelaws prohibit damaging fishing activity on the reefs and corals within that important marine area. The Marine Protected Area is designated because it contains an array of nationally and internationally rare species and habitats which include pink sea fans, sunset and southern cup corals and fragile sponge communities on rocky reef habitats.

The fishing vessel was 25.40 meters in length and was also therefore too large to fish within 6 nautical miles of the coast as a result of IFCA byelaws which only permit smaller inshore vessels to operate in that area. This combination of byelaws to protect sensitive habitats and byelaws that allow only smaller vessels inshore ensures the protection of our inshore marine environment and the vibrant coastal fishery in the area.

The IFCAs lead the management of inshore fisheries management in England and work closely with the Marine Management Organisation which has national jurisdiction and further fisheries monitoring responsibilities. The collaboration between the IFCAs and the MMO ensured that further offences relating to failure to transmit 'electronic logbook' data were also considered by the Magistrates.

The Master and Owner also pleaded guilty to failure to maintain in operation an Automatic Identification System (AIS), a system required on vessels of this size and which monitors the movements of large vessels. The data gathered from a separate monitoring system known as a Vessel Monitoring System, which uses satellites to track all large fishing vessels, was important in bringing this case to court.

As Master of the vessel Mr Leigh R Shields was fined £800 and order to pay costs of £1600 with a victim surcharge £120 and as Owners SRR Trawlers Ltd were fined £3200 with costs of £6400 and a victim surcharge of £120.



6 August 2015,
Fisherman fined for obstructing fisheries officers



At Bournemouth Magistrates Court, Stephen Russell, 60 of Upton, Poole, pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay a total of £3565.70 in fines and costs for two counts of obstructing fisheries officers contrary to the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 ('The Act').

On the 12th February 2015, the court heard how Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) Officers, aboard IFCA Fisheries Patrol Vessel Endeavour, suspected illegal clam fishing was being conducted in the vicinity of the Wareham Channel in Poole Harbour where they subsequently intercepted Mr Russell's vessel. Despite instructions from officers to stop what he was doing in order for them to inspect his catch, it wasn't until he had cleared the contents of all baskets and the dredge on-board his vessel that he eventually stopped his vessel allowing officers to come alongside.

Commenting on the case, Ian Jones, IFCA Deputy Chief Officer, said "The IFCA rules support an important local shellfish industry and they protect the natural environment of Poole Harbour. All fishers have a legal obligation under 'The Act' to show a level of co-operation and courtesy that will allow officers to carry out their duties including complying with directions given to them in order to facilitate boardings and inspections and obstructing officers will not be tolerated."

"The IFCA is funded through its constituent local authorities and there is a cost to public funds to bring these matters before the Court. I am pleased that in this, and many of our cases, offenders are ordered to pay costs. By taking these offenders to Court we aim to support a sustainable local fishery and ensure healthy seas".



28 July 2015,
Isle of Wight Fisherman fined for retaining undersized shellfish on board his fishing vessel



At Portsmouth Magistrates Court, Paul Lambert, 40 of East Cowes on the Isle of Wight, pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay fines and costs of £2620 for retaining whelks below the minimum legal size on board his fishing vessel Katie P176, contrary to European Fisheries Technical Conservation Measures regulations.

On the 25th February 2015 Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) Officers conducted an inspection of the catch in that vessel alongside the Camber in Portsmouth. Officers located 23 sacks of whelks and found that 39% of the shellfish were under the minimum European size of 45mm.

Commenting on the case Ian Jones, IFCA Deputy Chief Officer, said "The whelk fishery in our District is very important and the minimum size legislation supports the local commerical fishing industry. Southern IFCA is committed to protecting the fishery and by taking these offenders to Court we aim to ensure healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and a viable industry".

Mr Jones further stated "Since 6th April 2012, in the event of any infringements, IFCAs have the option to issue a Financial Administrative Penalty (FAP) as an alternative to a criminal prosecution. In 2014, Mr Lambert paid £1500 in FAPs for two similar offences and as a result of recidivist offending this matter was brought before the Court".


18 June 2015,
Fisherman fined for obstructing a fishery officer and transporting undersized shellfish


At Bournemouth Magistrates Court, Stephen Arnold, 45 of Poole, pleaded guilty and was fined for incidents that occured on two seperate occasions. Firstly for obstructing a fishery officer contrary to the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 and secondly for transporting undersized manila clams contray to European Fisheries Technical Conservation Measures regulations.

Mr Arnold with fines and costs was ordered to pay £1850.00

On the 4th June 2015, the court heard how on the 18th of December 2014 Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority Officers, aboard Fisheries Patrol Vessel Endeavour, were patrolling in Poole Harbour in the vicinity of the Wareham Channel, when in darkness, they intercepted Mr Arnold's vessel. Arnold's vessel, which was not licensed and registered to fish, was observed with shellfish harvesting equipment on board, and when Officers were close alongside Mr Arnold was seen dumping sacks over the side of the vessel. Despite instruction from Officers, Mr Arnold sped away from the scene with Officers in pursuit. 

The court then heard how, in a seperate incident on the 11th Janaury 2015, Dorset Police observed Mr Arnold driving his white Ford Tranist van in Poole and, as a result of a subsequent inspection of the van, located 5 sacks of shellfish in the rear of the vehicle. Police seized the van in relation to another matter and advised IFCA Officers of the shellfish. IFCA Officers conducted an inspection of the van and found that 94% of the shellfish, which were manila clams, were under the minimum European size of 35mm.

Commenting on the case, Ian Jones, IFCA Deputy Chief Officer, said "The minimum size legislation supports an important local commercial fishing industry. Southern IFCA is committed to protecting the fishery to ensure healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and a viable industry. By taking these offenders to court we aim to support a sustainable local fishery and ensure healthy seas and obstructing SIFCA Officers in the execution of their duty will not be tolerated."



17 June 2015,
New Fisheries Patrol Vessel for the Solent named at Seaworks International 2015


To enable the Authority to protect the important fisheries in the region, we have taken delivery of a purpose build Patrol Vessel named 'Stella Barbara' at Seawork International 2015, in Southampton. 

Robert Clark, Chief Fishery Officer said "The new patrol vessel will be used to protect the coastal seas in the region which are some of the most diverse and productive in the Country and which in turn support one of the largest coastal fishing fleets in England as well as providing many important recreational benefits to the thousands of anglers who enjoy their sport off these shores".

The patrol vessel is named after Mrs Stella Barbara Dean, of New Milton, Hampshire, in recognition of her contribution to the coastal fishing community and fisheries management in the area.

The new RIB will support and develop Southern IFCAs partnerships with other public authorities that are involved with research, monitoring, regulation or enforcement in the sea within the region and her primary task will be to enforce local fisheries byelaws including those which ensure the protection of the regions extensive Marine Protected Area network.

FPV Stella Barbara has the capability to be manned by up to four crew and will be primarily based in the Solent and patrol the waters around the Isle of Wight. She can be trailered ready for quick deployment anywhere within the District. 

The new 8m Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) was manufactured by Ribcraft of Yeovil in Somerset and has a top speed in excess of 40 knots.

Ian Davies, the Chairman of the Southern IFCA said, "This new vessel will support the vibrant coastal fisheries off Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight. In naming the vessel Stella Barbara, we pay tribute to the tireless work of Mrs Stella Dean and would like to thank her for naming the vessel".

             



16 June 2015,
New Regulation for Dredging in Poole Harbour



NOTICE TO FISHERMEN

Effective 1 July 2015, no person on board, or by means of a vessel shall use, retain on board, store or transport a dredge within Poole Harbour except in accordance with a permit issued by the Authority, or in accordance with a written dispensation for certain lawful activities.

"dredge" means a dredge, scoop or similar device and any auxiliary hydraulic equipment that is designed for, or capable of taking any shellfish.

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE

Effective 1 July 2015, any such dredge that is used, retained on board, stored or transported on a vessel within Poole Harbour may be siezed by the Authority forthwith and the owner may be liable for prosecution.

Please click here to view the information leaflet



07 May 2015,
New Regulation for Recreational Fishers for Sea Bass



No more than three sea bass may be retained per person per day.

The European Commission has now implemented a 3 fish daily bag limit for bass for all recreational fishers as part of a package of measures being developed at EU level to address declining bass stocks.

This measure applies to all recreational fishers both on the shore and in boats, and means that recreational fishers may only keep 3 fish caught per day (minimum sizes apply).




05 May 2015,
Fisherman fined for taking undersized Manila Clams

At Southampton Magistrates Court, on the 5th of May 2015, Mr Shaun Howland pleaded guilty to retaining manila clams below the minimum size of 35mm in contravention of Article 19 (1) of Council Regulation (EC) 850-98.  With fines and costs Mr Howland was ordered to pay £5,515.
 
On Wednesday 18th December 2013, Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Officers (IFCOs) from the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority intercepted Mr Howland’s vessel El Barco (P936). The inspection revealed some 60% of the catch of the clams were below the minimum legal size of 35mm. The Skipper Mr Howland and the crew of the fishing vessel El Barco P936 were cautioned and interviewed on the scene by the officers.
 
This species of clam was introduced into England in the 1980s and has since naturalised and is now found extensively in the Solent and wider area. The minimum size which is an EU wide measure, is in place to ensure that the clams can reproduce and clams beds can sustain harvest. Fishery officers of the inshore fisheries and conservation authority enforce the legislation to ensure that the clam stocks can support a sustainable fishery.
 
The owners of the vessel El Barco, Viviers UK limited were also issued a written warning from Southern IFCA in relation to the incident.
 
Commenting on the case Neil Richardson, IFCA Deputy Chief Officer, said “The minimum size legislation supports an important local commercial fishing industry. Southern IFCA is committed to protecting the fishery to ensure healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and a viable industry. By taking these offenders to court we aim to support a sustainable local fishery and ensure healthy seas.”

 

13 April 2015,
IFCAs Enforcement

We are aware of concerns about a short term reduction in enforcement powers available to Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) officers. The EU ‘control’ regulation ensures compliance with the rules of the CFP. It includes the use of vessel monitoring systems and electronic recording systems, as well as a range of other control requirements.

The MMO co-ordinates an enforcement programme, which involves monitoring, control and surveillance of sea fishing in British fishery limits around the coast of England and English vessels operating outside those waters.

The Marine Management Organisation and local IFCAs will continue to enforce the Common Fisheries Policy around our coastline. The usual level of enforcement (including enforcing IFCA byelaws etc) and spot checks is being maintained despite a short term reduction in enforcement powers available to Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) officers to enforce certain EU legislation in the spring of 2015. The MMO is warranting a number of IFCA officers with relevant powers, so that they can continue to operate as normal, enforcing EU regulations relating to fisheries and marine conservation as well as their own byelaws.


8 March 2015,
Poole Fisherman Fined for Obstructing a Fishery Officer

At Bournemouth Magistrates Court Lee Arnold, 40 of Hamworthy, Poole, pleaded guilty and was fined for two separate offences of obstructing a fishery officer contrary to the Marine and Coastal Access Act, 2009.
 
On the 2nd of April 2015 The court heard how on the 14th of November 2014 Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) Officers, aboard IFCA Fisheries Patrol Vessel Endeavour were patrolling in Poole Harbour in the vicinity of the Wareham Channel, when in darkness, they intercepted Mr Arnolds vessel. Arnold’s vessel which was not licensed and registered to fish was observed with shellfish harvesting equipment on board, and when Officers were close alongside Mr Arnold was seen dumping sacks over the side of the vessel. Despite instruction from officers Mr Arnold sped away from the scene with officers in pursuit.
 
The court then heard how, in a separate incident on the 25th of November, this time on the shore in Lytchett Bay, Poole, officers attempted to inspect a van belonging to Arnold, but despite instruction Arnold decamped from the scene. On this occasion IFCA officers, with assistance from Police, detained the vehicle and it was removed from the area to enable a subsequent inspection. The Police followed further enquiries as regards to this incident.
 
Commenting on the case Ian Jones, IFCA Deputy Chief Officer, said “The IFCA rules support an important local fishing industry and they protect the natural environment of Poole. Southern IFCA is committed to protecting the fishery to ensure healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and a viable industry. By taking these offenders to court we aim to support a sustainable local fishery and ensure healthy seas.”
 
“I would also like to commend the actions of the officers in this case who, in difficult and hostile conditions, secured the evidence to ensure that this case was brought before the courts.”
 
Mr Arnold with fines and costs was ordered to pay £1525

13 February 2015,
Poole Harbour Several Order 2015 Public Consultation
Notice is hereby given The Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority has applied to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for an order under the Sea Fisheries (Shellfish) Act 1967 for a period of 30 years. The Several Fishery Order allows the grantees exclusive rights to cultivate and harvest shellfish of any kind.

During the period of 1 month from the date of the publication of this notice, a copy of the draft Order, Management Plan and map of the fishery will be deposited at the offices of the applicant, at the address given below or at www.southern-ifca.gov.uk and also with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Shellfish and Aquaculture Team, Area 8A, Millbank, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR.

Any objection or representation concerning the proposed Order should be made within 1 month of this date of notice. Any application should be made to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs at the above address. At the same time a copy should be sent the undersigned.

Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, 64 Ashley Road, Parkstone, Poole, Dorset, BH14 9BN (or enquiries@southern-ifca.gov.uk).




9 February 2015,
Internships for 2015
Southern IFCA is offering an exciting opportunity for five volunteer internship placements during summer 2015. The successful applicants will lead the delivery of individual projects directly informing inshore fisheries management as part of the Authority’s ongoing duties. Please click here for details. For policy guidance for volunteers please click here. Closing date for applications is 27 February 2015.


20th January 2015,
Appointment of IFCA Members
The Marine Management Organisation is looking to appoint a number of members with marine experience to contribute to the work of the Southern IFCA influencing the management of inshore fisheries.

David Abbott, Head of Marine Compliance for the Marine Management Organisation, which is making the appointments, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for an experienced person in the inshore marine area to use their skills to influence decisions on how their local area is managed.

Members will contribute their knowledge and expertise to provide sustainable management of the inshore marine area of their IFCA district. Members guide the IFCA to deliver its mandate under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 and in line with Defra guidance. Members attend quarterly meetings and should expect to commit broadly 1 day per month to their IFCA.
The MMO actively encourages applications from individuals representing the economic, social and environmental needs of their IFCA district and who bring a variety of relevant interests including:
·       Fishing groups (commercial and non-commercial)
·       Environmental and Conservation groups
·       Other parties interested in the work of IFCAs.
The application form can be downloaded from the Hays Recruitment website at:
 http://www.hays.co.uk/jobs/ifca/index.htm

It can be returned to:
Email:  MMO@hays.com

Post: Hays Executive MMO Campaign, Ebury Gate Victoria 23 Lower Belgrave Street London SW1W 0NT
If an applicant does not have access to the internet, they can call the Hays Recruitment Team on: 020 7259 8743 who will post out an application pack.
If an applicant has any enquiries about the role or application process, they can call Hays on: 0207 259 8743 or email MMO@hays.com. Closing date for applications is noon on 2 February 2015.


17th January 2015,
Formal Byelaw Consultation - 17th January to 14th February
Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority intends to apply to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for the confirmation of the following byelaws:

New Byelaw - ‘Fishing for Cockles’
This byelaw replaces the SSFC ‘Cockles’ legacy byelaw and was made by the Authority on 11th December 2014. This byelaw will prohibit the fishing for cockles between 1st February and 30th April each year in all areas outside of Poole Harbour, will describe the methods by which cockles are permitted to be fished and will prohibit the removal of any cockle that passes through a square opening of 23.8mm. An impact assessment for this byelaw can be viewed here.

New Byelaw - ‘Poole Harbour Shellfish Hand Gathering’
This byelaw replaces the SSFC ‘Prohibiting on Use or Carrying a Shellfish Dredge, Scoop or Handrake in Certain Areas of Poole Harbour’ legacy byelaw and was made by the Authority on 11th December 2014.  The byelaw introduces spatial and temporal closures for shellfish hand gathering within Poole Harbour. An impact assessment for this byelaw can be viewed here.

Byelaw Revocation - ‘Carriage of Clams’
This SSFC legacy byelaw was introduced to support the Poole Harbour Fishery Order 1985.  The Authority intends to replace the Order with a permit byelaw, therefore making this byelaw redundant.

 
Any person wishing to object to the confirmation of the above byelaws must send a statement of objection in writing to: Marine Conservation and Enforcement Team, Marine Management Organisation, Lancaster House, Hampshire Court, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE4 7YH (or IFCAbyelaws@marinemanagement.org.uk) by 14th February 2015 and must send a copy of this statement to: The CEO, Southern IFCA, 64 Ashley Road, Poole, Dorset BH14 9BN (or enquiries@southern-ifca.gov.uk).



13th January 2015,
Public consultation on Review of Management Measures
The Southern IFCA believe that it is important that stakeholders have the opportunity to play a part in the future management of the fisheries in the District. To help us work together to deliver our duties and responsibilities we welcome your input to our Review of Management Measures public consultation throughout January 2015.

 
19th December 2014,
Public consultation on Review of Management Measures
Southern IFCA are seeking views of stakeholders including commercial and recreational users, to shape the way their fisheries are managed in the future. The questions we are asking are;
  • Whether you agree with key objectives and focus areas that have been identified?
  • What measures you think are necessary to fulfil our objectives for each of the focus areas identified?
  • Where can we work together with stakeholders to gather additional evidence are fulfil shared objectives?
  • How can we best involve the community in the management of the Southern IFCA District?
A series of public meetings are to be held in January 2015:
  • Weymouth Angling Society, DT4 8NF
           Monday 5th January, 15:00 to 19:00
  • The Thistle Hotel, Poole, BH15 1HD
          Tuesday 6th January, 10:00 to 18:00
  • Eastney Cruising Association, PO4 9LY
          Thursday 8th January, 15:00 to 19:00
  • Riverside Centre, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 2QR
          Friday 9th January, 15:00 to 19:00
 
The consultation document can be viewed here.
For further information please contact the Southern IFCA office at enquiries@southern-ifca.gov.uk or on 01202 721373.


19th December 2014,
Poole Harbour Dredge Permit Byelaw Information Drop-In Day
The Southern IFCA are holding a drop-in day for all fishermen who are interested in learning more about the Access Policy for obtaining a permit under the Poole Harbour Dredge Permit Byelaw which will be introduced in July 2015.

The drop-in day will be held on Tuesday 6th January 2015 between 10:00 and 18:00 at:
 
Joliffe Room, Thistle Hotel
The Quay, Poole, BH15 1HD

We welcome you all to take this opportunity to find out more information about the new byelaw and the future of the wild shellfish fishery in Poole Harbour in 2015.

For further information please contact the Southern IFCA office at enquiries@southern-ifca.gov.uk or on 01202 721373.



21st November 2014,
Public consultation on proposed
Poole Harbour Shellfish Hand Gathering Byelaw

As a result of the anticipated expiry of the Poole Fishery Order on 30th June 2015, Southern IFCA is proposing to introduce a new byelaw to manage the hand gathering of shellfish within Poole Harbour. The Poole Harbour Shellfish Hand Gathering Byelaw, which is designed to introduce improved spatial and temporal protection for sensitive overwintering and nesting bird populations, will compliment proposed shellfish management measures in Poole Harbour whilst ensuring that important environmental features are protected.

We are running a public consultation on the proposed byelaw will run for 10 days until 17.00 on Monday 1st December 2014. Your feedback is of great value to Southern IFCA and will be used in the development of this byelaw.  

Please click here to see a copy of the consultation document
Please click here to see a copy of the byelaw and map
Please click here to leave feedback via the website contact us

The public consultation on the proposed byelaw has now closed.


15th October 2014,
Oyster Fishery 2014-2015
The Southern IFCA has issued a notification that pursuant to the regulation 'Temporary Closure of Shellfish Beds Byelaw' that Temporary Closure of the wider Solent oyster fishery for the 2014/15 season including Southampton Water and Temporary Closure of Langstone and Portsmouth Harbours oyster fishery from 15th November 2014 for the remaining 2014/15 season.

All other byelaws and spatial closures will still apply.

Please click here to view the notification


30th September 2014,
Poole Harbour Dredge Permit Byelaw
Southern IFCA is in the process of developing a new dredge permit byelaw for Poole Harbour. The byelaw will be accompanied by a permit with flexible conditions including temporal and spatial restrictions, restrictions on catch and gear restrictions.

An Access Policy describes how Poole Harbour Dredge Permits will be issued under this byelaw.

Southern IFCA has carried out an extensive period of informal consultation to inform the development of the byelaw, including an Impact Assessment. A period of 28 days formal consultation has also been undertaken.

The formal stage of consultation on the byelaw has now closed.
 

30th September 2014,
Annual Report 2013-2014

The Southern IFCA Annual Report for 2013 to 2014 is now available on our website.


5th August 2014,
New Website

Welcome to the new Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority Website.

Please take a look around to find out more about our District and the work that we do!




5th August 2014,
First Parliamentary Report on the work of IFCAs 2014
Under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, every four years, the Secretary of State must prepare a report into the conduct and operation of IFCAs, which must be laid before Parliament. This first report will cover the period to the end of August 2014.

This is an opportunity for you as an individual or organisation to provide evidence to Defra to help them understand how the Southern IFCA has worked to meet its duties and/or demonstrate local leadership as a statutory regulator.  Contributions of evidence are invited to a series of open questions structured around the IFCA success criteria.

Please click here to find out more information and to provide evidence for the report
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