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Bottom Towed Fisheries

Please visit the following pages for information regarding the Poole Harbour Dredge Permit Fishery or the Solent Dredge Fisheries.

Bottom Towed fishing gear is used throughout the Southern IFC District in the coastal waters of Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. However, there are many areas all over the District in which all Bottom Towed Gears are prohibited. For more information about these area’s see the Bottom Towed Gears Management Page.

In Dorset, scallop dredgers collect king scallops from seabed sediment habitats. Throughout Lyme Bay, Weymouth Bay and Poole Bay bottom trawls (light otter trawls and beam trawls), are used to target a variety of fish species including cuttlefish, sole, plaice, squid, skate and rays.

In 2019, more than 370 tonnes 1 of fish were caught in the Southern IFC District using bottom trawls.

1 Data reported from UK Fisheries Statistics 2019

Credit: Georgie Bull

Fishery Monitoring and Stock Assessments

CEFAS complete regular monitoring of fish stocks in UK waters.  Southern IFCA does not monitor the stocks of demersal and pelagic fish stocks at present. 

However, twice annually the Authority monitors juvenile fish species found inside estuary fish nursery areas. These surveys often find juvenile specimens of the fish species targeted by trawlers. For the results of these surveys please see below:

Marine Protected Area Assessments

Southern IFCA has a duty to undertake assessments of existing and potential commercial fishing activities within Marine Protected Areas throughout the District. The purpose of the assessments is to determine, whether or not in the view of Southern IFCA, the activities will hinder the achievement of the conservation objectives of the relevant Marine Protected Areas. If this assessment finds that the activity could hinder the site from achieving its conservation objectives, Southern IFCA must create appropriate management measures to mitigate the risks.

As of 2020, Southern IFCA has been required to introduce a number of management measures as a result of the following assessments. Please note that some of these assessments are recent and therefore Southern IFCA is currently undergoing the process of introducing the required management measures. 

For more information on the Management Measures introduced to date please see the Bottom Towed Gears Management Page.

Credit: Guy Mitchell

Credit: Georgie Bull

Credit: Georgie Bull

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