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The Southern IFCA is responsible for the enforcement of fisheries legislation across the Southern IFCA district, in order to maintain the right balance between social, economic and environmental benefits, therefore ensuring healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and a viable industry. This includes the enforcement of Southern IFCA byelaws, National Orders and EU legislation.

Section 6 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act (MaCAA) 2009 (Transitional and Saving Provisions) Order 2011 transferred the byelaws made by the Southern Sea Fisheries Committee (SFC) to the Southern IFCA for those parts of the District that were previously regulated by the Southern SFC. Those parts of the Southern IFCA District that were not covered by the Southern SFC were previously regulated by the Sussex SFC and Environment Agency, so any relevant byelaws were also transferred to the Southern IFCA.

The Southern IFCA also has created byelaws in exercise of its powers under sections 155 and 156 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. In addition to enforcing Southern IFCA byelaws and byelaws transferred from the Sea Fisheries Committees and the Environment Agency, Southern IFCA have powers under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 to enforce National and European fisheries legislation.

IFCOs have these powers for the purpose of enforcing:

  • Any byelaws made under section 155 or 157 of MaCAA for the district (or having effect as if so made);
  • Sections 1 to 3, 5 and 6 of the Sea Fish (Conservation) Act 1967 (c.84) and any Orders made under any of those sections; 
  • Any provision made by or under an Order under section 1 of the Sea Fisheries (Shellfish) Act 1967 (c.83); 
  • Any provisions of, or any rights conferred by, section 7 of that Act;
  • Any byelaws made under section 129 or 132 of MaCAA;
  • Section 140 of MaCAA; 
  • The Sea Fishing (Enforcement) Regulations 2018 (SI 849/18) (The Sea Fishing (Enforcement) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 

In addition to Southern IFCA byelaws, National and European fisheries legislation, a number of other management approaches are employed by Southern IFCA. These include Codes of Practice and voluntary agreements, which contribute to achieving a healthy marine environment and sustainable fisheries.

For the full details of our byelaws and other regulations we enforce, please see the relevant regulations pages.


The Southern IFCA has a set of byelaws across the District which must be complied with, and failure to comply with these byelaws may lead to prosecution. However, there may be circumstances, where the byelaw permits, that a dispensation from a Byelaw may be granted.
To submit a dispensation request to the Southern IFCA, please see the below guidance document and dispensation request form. 

Seafish Kingfisher Information Service

A number of Southern IFCA’s byelaws, specifically those focused on gear restrictions, have been included in the Kingfisher Fishing Restrictions tool.

To view the extent of these restrictions on the Kingfisher interactive map please
click here  or on the map on the right

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