News

Previous Articles

2017
May
 

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 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.    
 
Robert Clark
Chief Executive 


 
© Copyright 2017 Southern IFCAWeb Design By Toolkit Websites