Tel: 01202 721 373

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a permit?

Southern IFCA issues permits for commercial fishing only. If you are fishing recreationally, for your own pleasure and consumption you are not required to obtain a permit or licence from Southern IFCA, please see here.

All fishers will have to adhere to national and local legislation. Please see the relevant pages that will give you the detail.

Commercial Fishing

Vessels are required to hold a permit to Fish for Sale. Permits are also required for particular fisheries within the district. Please see the relevant management pages to see which fisheries require permits. 

For commercial licence enquiries the Marine Management Organisation issue commercial licences, administer quotas and catch limits. Please contact your local office: poole@marinemanagement.org.uk portsmouth@marinemanagment.org.uk / hastings@marinemanagement.org.uk

For commercial fishing regulations please consult the relevant government web pages - Commercial fishing and fisheries: detailed information - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

For registration of a fishing vessel please contact the Maritime and Coastguard Agency – infoline@mcga.gov.uk

Permits

Poole Harbour Dredge Permit

S1 Application

Commercial fishing from an unpowered vessel or from the beach

Southern IFCA does not issue permits for this activity. You will have to be aware and adhere to the Buyers and Sellers of first-sale fish - GOV.UK legislation. Further details can be obtained from the Marine Management Organisation: poole@marinemanagement.org.uk / portsmouth@marinemanagment.org.uk / hastings@marinemanagement.org.uk

Recreational fishing

Currently, angling and recreational fishing within the Southern IFC District does not require a permit to fish.

However, there are a number of regulations that apply to recreational and commercial fishers in Southern IFCA district. Some regulations apply to certain gear types, whereas others apply to specific areas or species. Although recreational fishers fishing for leisure and their own consumption are not currently required to obtain a permit to fish, they must follow regulations regarding closed areas, minimum sizes, gear restrictions etc.

To find out which regulations apply to you, please see the appropriate page for your method of fishing under our Regulations pages, where the regulations that apply to each gear type/species/area are listed.

Further information on recreational fishing can be obtained from the Angling Trust.

How do I get a permit?

Southern IFCA issue permits for licenced commercial fishers. A permit is not required to fish recreationally.

Any commercial fishing vessel fishing in Southern IFCA district is required to have a permit to Fish for Sale. Permits are also available for specific fisheries within the district.

Poole Harbour Dredge Permit Fishery – No permits available.

Permit to Fish for Sale

How do I report suspicious fishing activity? Is the fishing activity that I’ve seen illegal?

If you have witnessed an incident or fishing activity that you believe may be in breach of fishing regulations, you can report it to us by enquiry form, phone or email, via our Contact Us page. If you are unsure whether the activity is illegal or not, we would recommend still contacting us to make sure. If the activity isn’t illegal, it may still be useful in providing us with information about fishing activity. We encourage people to submit information about suspicious activity, as much of our work is intelligence-led and therefore the information submitted can be vital in assisting our officers with the detection of offences.

In addition to fisheries offences, you may wish to report other issues to a number of other organisations that we work in partnership with.

Breaches of national fisheries legislation may also be reported to the Marine Management Organisation

If the issue relates to licensing, certification or safety at sea, please contact the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

If the issue relates to marine crime, please contact the relevant Marine Policing Team (e.g. Dorset Marine Policing Team, Hampshire Marine Unit)

If the issue concerns environmental health, please contact your local council’s Environmental Health department.

If you have concerns about freshwater or migratory fish species, or river incidents, please contact the Environment Agency.

If the issue involves gang-mastering or modern-day slavery offences, please contact the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA).

Which fishing regulations apply to me?

There are a number of regulations that apply to recreational and commercial fishers in the Southern IFC District. Some regulations apply to certain gear types, whereas others apply to specific areas or species. Although recreational fishers fishing for leisure or their own consumption are not currently required to obtain a permit to fish, they must follow regulations regarding closed areas, minimum sizes, gear restrictions etc.

To find out which regulations apply to you, please see the appropriate page for your method of fishing under our Regulations section, where the regulations that apply to each gear type are listed.

All Regulations

Rod and Line Regulations

Useful downloads, such as our Wheelhouse Card

What happens when illegal fishers/offenders are caught?

Southern IFCA follow a series of enforcement actions under the Compliance and Enforcement Framework when dealing with fisheries offences. The Compliance and Enforcement Framework outlines the enforcement actions that are taken against offences, ranging from Advisory Letters and Official Written Warnings for less serious infringements, to Financial Administrative Penalties or Prosecutions for more serious infringements. Please see the Compliance and Enforcement Outcomes page to view the Compliance and Enforcement Framework and Southern IFCA’s approach to enforcement.

How do I submit catch returns?

Catch returns can be submitted by post (Unit 3, Holes Bay Park, Sterte Avenue West, Poole, BH15 2AA) or email (enquiries@southern-ifca.gov.uk). They need to be fully completed to be accepted. Each permitted fishery has its own submission dates. You can find the relevant forms and dates by following the links below:

Poole Harbour Dredge Permit fishery

Live Wrasse Fishery

How can I be involved with management measures?

Southern IFCA consult with industry when establishing new management measures, in order to better understand the fishery and achieve a balance between the needs of the industry and the environment. Consultations and Calls for Information allow stakeholders to express their opinions and knowledge of a fishery and contribute to the establishment of fisheries management. Any open consultations can be viewed here.

Details of our ongoing management reviews can be found on our Current Reviews page.

Where can I buy locally resourced fish?

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) champion sustainable seafood. Find MSC certified sustainable fish products | Marine Stewardship Council

Dorset Seafood Festival Sustainable Seafood Festival - Dorset Seafood Festival

Dorset Coast Forum Aquaculture – Dorset Coast Forum

Poole Harbour Clam and Cockle Fishery

If you have a question that has not been answered above or elsewhere on the website, please contact us.

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