Key Species in the Southern IFC District
A large variety of species are targeted commercially and recreationally within the Southern IFC District. Shellfish account for the top five most caught commercial species in the District with the greatest landings attributed to whelk at over 1,700 tonnes in 2021. Bass and sole are two of the most commercially targeted species of fish. In 2021, 91 tonnes of bass and 89 tonnes of sole were caught within the District.
Recreational fisheries are more difficult to summarise as reporting of catches is not required and many recreational anglers practice catch and release. However, a study into the spatial distribution of recreational angling in England by the Marine Management Organisation found the top five valued recreational species in the South Inshore region (Southern IFCA, Sussex IFCA and Devon & Severn IFC Districts) were: bass, whiting, rays, cod and mackerel 1 .
1 MMO (2020) Mapping recreational sea anglers in English waters. A report produced for the Marine Management Organisation, MMO Project No: 1163, February 2020, 129pp.
Southern IFCA have developed profiles for key species caught within the District. Each profile summarises the life history of each species (particularly reproductive strategies and size at maturity), fishing activity, landings, economic value and associated management measures. The profiles are a useful resource to help inform management measures and to gain a greater understanding of our local species. To view each profile please click on the 'Doc' links.