Previous Articles


15 February 2018,
Employment Opportunity: Marine Protected Area Project Officer

Southern IFCA is inviting applications for the position of Marine Protected Area Project Officer. 

As Marine Protected Area Project Officer you will work to promote the sustainable development of fishing activities and the conservation of the marine environment within the Southern IFCA District and English inshore waters by undertaking community based Marine Protected Area projects. You will play a key role in the delivery of an exciting national project to consolidate and promote the valuable work undertaken by IFCAs in assessing and managing commercial fishing activities in Marine Protected Areas, reporting to the Association of IFCAs.

Please click here to visit our Recruitment page for full details and to view the application form.


12 February 2018,
2018 Internship Projects
Southern IFCA is offering an exciting opportunity for three volunteer internship placements during Summer 2018. 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 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 '2018 Internships' by email ( or post by 12 noon on Monday 5th March 2018. Full information on the interview arrangements will be sent to those candidates who have been short listed.

1 February 2018,
Guidance on 2018 Bass Fishing
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has published guidance on bass fishing in 2018 for fishermen in England. This follows publication of Council Regulation 2018/120 within the Official Journal of the European Union.

The European Commission has determined that bass stocks remain under pressure despite the measures taken in previous years. It has placed further restrictions on the commercial and recrational fishing sectors in order to address this. The regulations apply to all vessels. 

Please click here for the Guidance on 2018 Bass Fishing

2 January 2018,

 Solent Dredge Permit Byelaw Pre-Consultation
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.
There are a number of ongoing projects and strategies which are underpinning our understanding of the Solent bivalve fisheries. It is important that this work is supported by effective and robust management, as such, Southern IFCA intends to review all existing legislation and harmonise these with the development of new management for the Solent’s dredge fisheries under a single permit byelaw, ensuring that dredge fishing activities are carried out in a sustainable way whilst considering the needs of the community.
This pre-consultation seeks stakeholders’ views on the proposal to introduce a new byelaw to permit the use of dredges within the Solent area. Under this proposal, it is the intent that any person wishing to store, transport, retain on board or use a dredge from any vessel in the Solent area must first obtain a permit to do so and then comply with the conditions of the permit. The consultation document outlines the nature of measures that may be considered whilst also seeking feedback on how the management of the Solent bivalve fisheries may be improved.
Feedback from this pre-consultation will inform the development of future management, we therefore welcome your engagement. Please download the pre-consultation document here.
If you have any questions about the process or proposed measures you are encouraged to meet with Southern IFCA officers. To arrange a meeting with officers please contact the office on 01202 721373 or email This consultation closes on the 21st January 2018, feedback should therefore be submitted on or before this date. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

20 November 2017,
Important Information on New Fishing Byelaws - Please Read

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.

In order to further the conservation objectives of the District's marine protected areas and to enhance the environmental, socio-economic and fisheries sustainability of the Southern IFC District, Southern IFCA has introduced two new byelaws:

The Solent Dredge Fishing Byelaw prohibits the use of fishing dredges within all areas of Portsmouth Harbour, Langstone Harbour and Southampton Water between 1st March and 31st October inclusive each year and between 17.00 and 07.00 hours each day. During these closed periods a person must not retain on board a vessel, or store or transport a dredge by means of a vessel unless all parts of the dredge are inboard and above the sea. 

In addition to existing spatial closures, the Bottom Towed Fishing Gear Byelaw 2016 introduces new closure areas for all methods of bottom towed gear fishing within parts of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Solent, Langstone Harbour, Portsmouth Harbour, Southampton Water, Poole Bay and Lyme Bay. Whilst transiting through any of these areas all parts of bottom towed fishing gear must be inboard and above the sea. Detailed maps of the closed areas can be found here.

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.

Full copies of both byelaws, together with associated documents can be found on the Southern IFCA website ( If you would like any further information please call Southern IFCA on 01202 721373 or email


09 October 2017,
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.

02 August 2017,
Wrasse Fishery Guidance

Southern IFCA has a duty to manage the exploitation of sea fisheries resources in the coastal waters of Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to ensure 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.

Over the past two years a new fishery for live wrasse has developed on the South coast of England. Fish are transported to Scottish salmon farms to be used as cleaner fish for the removal of sea-lice as a biological alternative to the use of anti-parasitic chemical treatments.  


Southern IFCA has, in collaboration with other South-west IFCAs, developed a co-ordinated management response to the developing live wrasse fishery through identifying a range of important management measures and research priorities. At an Authority meeting on 29th June, Southern IFCA Committee Members chose to adopt new management for the district’s fishery for live wrasse. These measures require fishers to observe a range of measures designed to preserve the long term sustainability of the local wrasse populations.

A range of species specific maximum and minimum sizes have been developed in order to maintain recruitment into the fishery through aligning minimum sizes above the size of sexual maturity. The maximum size will serve to maintain a balanced population structure through protecting the larger established family groups from capture. Maximum sizes are particularly effective at protecting the longer-lived and larger growing wrasse species which employ a hermaphrodite reproductive strategy.

No take zones are believed to afford effective and long-term protection for species with high site fidelity and small home ranges/territories, like those exhibited by local wrasse species (Morel et al., 2013). A series of no take zones and no potting zones have been developed within the Southern IFCA district, in many cases overlapping with the boundaries of Marine Protected Areas. In addition, popular sites for recreational sea fishing have been included as no take zones in order to reduce conflict between users and to ease the pressure on wrasse populations in these areas.

A fishing closed season from April to June (inclusive) has also been introduced to protect wrasse populations during their peak spawning period. Additional measures include a restriction on the placing of wrasse pots to waters less than 10m deep to protect the survivability of catches together with a restriction of 80 pots per vessel in order to restrict fishing effort.

In collaboration with a range of partners including Natural England and industry operators, Southern IFCA has commenced a programme of study to improve our understanding of the fishery and its effects on the marine environment. Research techniques include the collection of fishery catch data, catch sampling and the development of a PhD.  

In developing this approach the Authority has demonstrated its commitment to delivering an evidence-led approach to managing a sustainable fishery for live wrasse in the district. Through our ongoing compliance and enforcement strategy and in collaboration with colleagues in the Marine Management Organisation and CEFAS, we will continue to monitor the success of these measures. 

Please click here to view the 
Wrasse Fishery Guidance

11 July 2017,
Vacancy at Southern IFCA

Deputy Chief Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Officer

There is an exciting opportunity to join the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority as Deputy Chief Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Officer.

No more applications will be considered. The closing date for this vacancy was 11 August 2017.

22 June 2017,
Wareham Channel Upgrade to Class B (seasonal)

Information for those engaged in the shellfish industry in Poole Harbour.

The Food Standards Agency has agreed a seasonal upgrade of the Wareham Channel from Class C to Class B. The upgrade to Class B applies immediately and will continue until 28th February 2018, provided the on-going classification samples remain satisfactory. After the 28th February the area will return to Class C again until June/July 2018.

All other classifications for Poole Harbour remain unchanged. 

For more information please click here to view the trade information letter from the Borough of Poole.

A complete list of all classified shellfish harvesting areas in England and Wales is available on the Food Standard Agency's website.

For information on fishing for shellfish in Poole Harbour visit our Poole Harbour Shellfish Management page.

20 June 2017,
Two Portsmouth Fishermen Found Guilty for Obstructing Fisheries Officers

Two Portsmouth Fishermen, fishing in Southampton Water, have been found guilty of obstructing Fisheries Officers and ordered to pay fines and costs.

The case was brought by the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA).

Appearing before the Southampton Magistrates Court on the 5th June 2017, Mr Kevin Smith, 53, and Mr Aston Stallard, 24, both from the Portsmouth area, were found guilty of obstructing Fisheries Officers, contrary to the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.

At the trial, the Magistrates heard that on 30th August 2016, in the Ashlett Creek area of Southampton Water, Mr Smith positioned his fishing vessel, Phantom P300, so as to obstruct Fisheries Officers and how his crewmember Mr Stallard discarded the vessels catch over the side of the vessel before it could be inspected.

Fisheries Officers of the Southern IFCA regularly patrol Southampton Water and the Solent to ensure that closed areas are protected and that fishermen adhere to the minimum sizes of fish and shellfish. The obstruction of Fisheries Officers and failure to comply with their requests is an offence.

Commenting on the case, IFCA Deputy Chief Officer, Neil Richardson 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 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 and the behaviour of these individuals will not be tolerated and we will pursue such matters robustly through court".

Robert Clark, Chief Officer for Southern IFCA, said, "the protection of the future stocks is in everyone's interest. We aim to ensure that the actions of a few individuals do not jeopardise sustainable fisheries and the communitites they support".

Mr Kevin Smith was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £5,195 and Mr Aston Stallard was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £5,195.

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

May 2017,
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  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  Other national regulations also apply, for example, the current bass nursery area legislation that can be found here
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.    
Robert Clark
Chief Executive 

© Copyright 2018 Southern IFCAWeb Design By Toolkit Websites