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Latest News

17
May '22

Vacancies - Senior Policy Officer (AIFCA) and Senior Technical Officer (AIFCA based at Sussex IFCA)

The Association of Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (AIFCA) are currently looking for a Senior Policy Officer and a Senior Technical Officer to join their team.

These are exciting opportunities. For more information please visit our VACANCIES  PAGE.

Closing Dates for both vacancies: Midnight 6th June 2022

10
May '22

MMO Voluntary No Anchor Zone Patrols

Over the last few weeks, Southern IFCA have supported the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) on a number of patrols of Studland Bay in order to raise awareness of the recently introduced Voluntary No Anchor Zone. Officers from the MMO engaged with over 70 vessels over the May Bank Holiday Weekend and reported "Approximately only 20% of people we engaged with said they were unaware of the voluntary no anchor zone which is an encouraging step in the right direction."

To read the full MMO blog on the Studland Bay Voluntary No Anchor Zone Patrols, please click here. 

6
May '22

Poole Fishermen Plead Guilty to Retention of Undersized Clams

On Wednesday 4th May 2022 at Poole Magistrates Court, Poole fishermen Andrew Skinner & Reginald Skinner, pleaded guilty to retaining on board their fishing vessel, Lula Bon PE892, a quantity of manila clams that measured below the minimum conservation reference size.  Charges were laid by the Southern Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority (Southern IFCA) and both men were ordered to pay costs and fines totalling £4,094.00.

The court heard how during the afternoon of Saturday 25th September 2021 Andrew Skinner was observed by officers from the Southern IFCA fishing from his vessel, Lula Bon PE892, in Poole Harbour. Lula Bon is jointly owned by Andrew Skinner and his father Reginald Skinner. Andrew Skinner returned to Poole Quay late in the afternoon to land his catch. The vessel’s fishing activity and return to the quayside was video recorded by officers using the Southern IFCA’s drone. This video footage was played in court.

On return to the quayside Andrew Skinner landed 16 sacks (approximately 500kg) of manila clams to a fish merchant who was purchasing the clams for £3 per kg. When Mr. Skinner landed his catch, he was intercepted by officers from the Southern IFCA and Dorset Police, who carried out a full inspection. Samples of clams were removed from 9 of the 16 sacks and measured for compliance with the Minimum Conservation Reference Size (Minimum Conservation Reference Sizes ensure sustainable fish stocks by considering the maturity of a species and allowing time for reproduction before removal from the sea). On average, 24% of Mr. Skinner’s catch measured below the Minimum Conservation Reference Size of 35mm.

As joint owners of the vessel both Andrew Skinner and Reginald Skinner were liable for the breach of regulations. Each were fined £800.00 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,167.00 and a victim surcharge of £80.00.

When asked to comment, Deputy Chief Officer Sam Dell said, “This case sends out a clear message that not complying with the regulations will not be tolerated. The clam fishery in Poole Harbour is very important to the local commercial fishing industry.  Minimum size legislation is the principle management tool to protect clams within the Harbour and the taking of undersized shellfish undermines the purpose of such legislation and protection of juvenile stock. The Southern IFCA is committed to protecting our coastal fisheries, ensuring healthy seas and a viable industry. By taking offenders to court we aim to support a sustainable local fishery.”

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05
May '22

Vacancy: Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Officer - Fisheries Protection

Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) are currently looking for an individual who will contribute to the delivery of sustainable fisheries and conservation management in the inshore coastal waters of Hampshire, Dorset, and the Isle of Wight.

In this exciting and dynamic role, the successful candidate will undertake training to become a warranted Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Officer (IFCO). 

For more details see our VACANCIES  PAGE. 

Closing Date: Midnight 6th June 22

20
Apr '22

New Chief Officer Appointed 

We are delighted to announce our new Chief Officer is Pia Bateman. 

Pia has made excellent progress whilst in the role of Acting Chief Officer and we very much look forward to seeing a continuation of her hard work and dedication to the Authority. 

We, at Southern IFCA have exciting, and challenging times ahead and we are confident that with Pia at the helm, we will continue to ensure successful progress.

12
Apr '22

Pot Fishing Byelaw - Formal Consutlation

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to sections 155 and 156 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority intends to apply to the Minister for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for the confirmation of the following byelaw:

Pot Fishing Byelaw

The byelaw manages fishing with pots in the Southern IFC District and introduces Commercial and Recreational Potting Permits under which conditions are attached. The byelaw also requires all fishers in the District to mark their pots or strings of pots using marker buoys that clearly identify the vessel or permit number using those pots. 

Any person wishing to object to the confirmation of the above-named byelaw sould visit our Live Consultations page to find further information and how to respond to the consultation. 

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14
Mar '22

Southwest Crab & Lobster Fishery FIP and Management

The Southwest Crab and Lobster Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP), facilitated by Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), brings fishing industry organisations together with the aim of improving the fishery to a level at which it could apply for MSC accreditation. For the purpose of this project, within the Southern IFC District, the Southwest Crab and Lobster Fisheries are defined as taking place west of the 002° line (within ICES Area VIIe).

The FIP group (involving merchants, fishing associations, management bodies etc.) has been working for the past five years. The main action remaining requires the group to produce a Harvest Strategy and associated ‘Harvest Control Rules’ (HCRs) including Management Measures for the fishery.

MSC on are requesting responses to their SURVEY and organising workshops with industry to gather opinions and ideas on how best to manage the fishery going forward. These will be collated and put forward in a paper to DEFRA as well as used by the FIP to help inform the development of the Harvest Strategy.

Could all fishery participants please complete the SURVEY and indicate whether you would attend a workshop if it were to be held in Dorset.

Please could you also, by 30th April, contact Southern IFCA (enquiries@southern-ifca.gov.uk or 01202 721373) to register your interest in participating in the FIP if it were to progress to apply for MSC Accreditation.


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3
Mar '22

CLOSED Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Officer - FM&P Team

We are currently looking for an individual who will take a lead role in the delivery of sustainable fisheries management in the inshore coastal waters of Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight. In this exciting and dynamic role, the successful candidate will undertake a range of duties to include data and evidence gathering via fisheries surveys, stock assessments and stakeholder consultation and use this evidence base to influence and drive the development of appropriate management measures.

The successful candidate will undertake training to become a warranted Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Officer (IFCO), to support the delivery of proportionate and effective enforcement of legislation, with an emphasis on the promotion of compliance via stakeholder engagement.

Closing date Midnight on 1st April 2022. Please see details on the Vacancies Page.

7
Feb '22

MMO Catch Recording Drop-in Sessions

The Marine Management Organisation are hosting a series of drop-in sessions to help fishers with under-10m vessels with their catch recording obligations.

Over the next few weeks, Marine Officers will be hosting a series of quayside drop-in sessions so fishers can raise their questions and get advice on using the catch recording service. Please see the below dates and locations of drop-in sessions that will be taking place in the Southern IFCA District. 

·  Thursday 3rd Feb – Weymouth Harbour 10:00 – 12:00

·  Friday 4th Feb – Lyme Regis, The Cobb 10:00 – 12:00

·  Sunday 6th Feb – Weymouth Harbour 10:00 – 12:00

·  Tuesday 8th Feb – Poole, Fisherman’s Dock 10:00 – 12:00

·  Wednesday 9th Feb – Mudeford Quay 10:00 – 12:00

·  Friday 11th Feb – West Bay Harbour 10:00 – 12:00

·  Saturday 12th Feb – Poole, Fisherman’s Dock 10:00 – 12:00

·  Sunday 20th Feb – Lyme Regis, The Cobb 10:00 – 12:00

Please see the MMO website for more information on Catch Recording and the upcoming drop-in sessions.

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27
Jan '22

Poole fisherman found guilty of Failure to Comply offences

On Thursday 27th January 2022 at Poole Magistrates Court, Poole fisherman Geoffrey Bennett was found guilty of failing without reasonable excuse to comply with a direction reasonably given by Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Officers from the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (Southern IFCA) and was ordered to pay costs and fines totalling £16,180. 

The court heard how during the afternoon of Thursday 3rd September 2020 in Poole Harbour, Geoffrey Bennett returned from fishing aboard his vessel PE443 Sea Turkey. Officers saw Mr. Bennett travel from the direction of Rockley Spit to bring his fishing vessel alongside the quay wall in front of the slipway at Rockley Boat Park Marina. Once alongside the quay wall Mr. Bennett dropped off his crewman who walked to a van parked nearby. The crewman opened the rear doors of the van and reversed to meet the bow of Mr. Bennett’s fishing boat.

The officers in attendance moved to carry out an inspection of Mr. Bennett’s catch, but on seeing the officers Mr. Bennett reversed away from the quay wall and the crewman sped away with the rear doors of the van still open. The Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Officers were well known to Mr. Bennett. They stood on the quay wall near to Mr. Bennett issuing numerous directions asking Mr. Bennett to stop to allow an inspection of his catch, but these directions were ignored by Mr. Bennett who drove his vessel under Rockley Bridge and into Lytchett Bay. The officers could see a large quantity of manila clams (with an estimated weight of 425kg and a first sale value of between £1,275 and £1,487.50) situated on the deck of the fishing vessel. Most of the incident was captured on the body worn cameras of the officers attending.

At court Mr. Bennett said that he had not seen the officers or heard their directions. He told the court that he needed to get away in a hurry because of the poor weather conditions and the risk of damage to his boat if he left it there. The court did not find Mr. Bennett’s account credible and he was found guilty of two charges of Failing to Comply with officers. Mr. Bennett was fined £6,000, ordered to pay prosecution costs of £10,000 and a victim surcharge of £180.

When asked to comment, Deputy Chief Officer Sam Dell said, “This case sends a clear message that failing to comply with the Authority’s officers will not be tolerated. The Marine and Coastal Access Act gives our officers common enforcement powers to carry out inspections. It provides robust legislation to protect officers against this type of misconduct. The Southern IFCA is committed to protecting the fishery to ensure healthy seas and a viable industry. By taking offenders to court we aim to support a sustainable local fishery.”

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10
Jan '22

Southern IFCA's New Byelaw Booklet

We are excited to launch our new, interactive Southern IFCA Byelaw Booklet. Southern IFCA have been working with a graphic designer to create a new, user-friendly and easy-to-navigate Byelaw Booklet for industry. The new booklet is interactive, meaning you can navigate between the Contents page and each Byelaw with a single click! 

All the Southern IFCA Byelaws currently in force are detailed in the Byelaw Booklet. However, please note that the Byelaw Booklet is not a definitive statement of current regulations. All our original byelaws are held at the Authority’s office and copies are available on request.

Please also note that only the Southern IFCA Byelaws are detailed in the Byelaw Booklet. In addition to these byelaws, there are a number of other pieces of legislation, such as UK Orders and Southern IFCA Codes of Practice that apply within the Southern IFCA District. Please see the relevant Regulations web pages for more information. 

To view our new Byelaw Booklet, please click here. 
04
Jan '22

Become a Member of the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA)

The MMO is seeking to fill existing vacancies and create a reserve list for upcoming vacancies on the Authority and welcomes applications from all sectors but particularly from people with a background in commercial fishing or recreational angling and with a good knowledge of the Southern IFCA area. For more information about the role and how to apply please visit Exciting opportunity to manage inshore fisheries and conservation (IFCA) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Applications close on the 24th January 2022.

22
Dec '21

Net Fishing Byelaw - Formal Consultation

Southern IFCA has opened a period of formal consultation for its Net Fishing Byelaw.  Any responses must be received no later than the 4 th February 2022.

The purpose of the Net Fishing Byelaw is to manage fishing with nets for sea fisheries resources in the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation District in line with the Authority’s duties under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, The Conservation of Habitats and Species (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 and The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

The byelaw introduces Net Prohibition Areas, Net Restriction Areas and Net Permit Areas. Net fishing will be prohibited in Net Prohibition Areas. Net fishing within Net Restriction Areas will be subject to seasonal and/or gear restrictions and net fishing within Net Permit Areas will be managed under flexible permit conditions, subject to the review procedure set out in the byelaw.

The byelaw ensures that all nets used in the District must be marked at each end by a marker buoy that clearly identifies the vessel using that net. The byelaw details both ‘Exceptions’ and ‘Dispensations’ for certain lawful activities.

The management of the Net Permit Areas will be informed by a Net Fishing Monitoring and Control Plan to ensure that the Authority is using the best available to ensure that the ongoing management of the District’s net fisheries remain compatible with the Conservation Objectives set (specific to Altantic salmon, Salmo salar ) for relevant SACs and where Atlantic salmon and/or sea trout ( Salmo trutta ) are a notified feature or component of a SSSI.

For details of the full byelaw, supporting documents and how to respond to the consultation please see the LIVE Consultations page.   The consultation closes on   3 rd  February 2022.

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14
Dec '21

Recreational Angling Sector Group - Register Your Interest

The Southern IFCA Recreational Angling Sector Group was formed in 2015 and contributes towards Southern IFCA fulfilling the aims of its angling strategy. The group is made up of local anglers or charter skippers with experience within the Southern IFCA district. The aims of the group are to:

- Provide a forum to discuss fisheries management topics relevant to the local sea angling sector
- Develop more effective communication between the sea angling sector and the bodies responsible for management
- Assist in the development of local sea angling strategies
- Comment and provide input into proposed local fisheries management
- Promote sea angling to the local community
- Promote data sharing between the local anglers and the relevant management bodies

The group is currently trying to improve its membership distribution across the district and is particularly interested in hearing from individuals who may wish to join from the West Dorset or Hampshire areas. Meetings of the group are held roughly every quarter and currently take place on a weekday evening via MS Teams.

If you are interested in learning more about the group or would like to apply to join please get in contact with Patrick Cooper – Patrick.Cooper@southern-IFCA.gov.uk

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29
Nov '21

NOW CLOSED: Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Officer - Fisheries Protection Team

Southern IFCA are recruiting for an Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Officer in the Fisheries Protection Team . Closing date 5th January 2022 (1700 hrs). Please click to visit the Vacancies page for more details.

21
Nov '21

Solent Scallop Update - Consultation Now CLOSED

Following the Technical Advisory Committee meeting held on the 4th Novemebr 2021, Southern IFCA has the following updates relating to the Solent Scallop Fishery:

  • A consultation is currently live, considering the next steps in the Solent Scallop Fishery Review. Currently under consultation with permit holders and relevant stakeholders is the Solent Scallop Code of Conduct, and whether the measures contained in the Code should be incorporated into the permit conditions for a Solent Dredge Category A Permit. More details of this consultation can be found on our Live Consultations page .
 
  • An amendment has been made to the Solent Dredge Permit Byelaw Access Policy, allowing an additional entry route for a Category A Permit in years 1-3 of the fishery, relating to track records in the Solent scallop fishery between January 2019 and March 2021. Applications under this route are live until the 3rd December 2021. Details on this and the Solent Dredge Permit application process can be found here .

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15
Nov '21

Essential Fish Habitats identified by Small Fish Surveys

Each year Southern IFCA conduct juvenile fish surveys in Spring and Autumn to survey Essential Fish Habitats (EFH) in the District’s estuaries and harbours. These areas provide important nursery areas for juvenile fish whilst other species of fish utilise the habitat for their full life cycle. Working in collaboration with partners such as the Environment Agency, National Trust, Isle of Wight Estuaries Project, local fishers, and academic institutions a seine net is deployed from the shore at each survey site and each specimen caught is identified, measured, and counted before being returned alive to the sea. This long term data set helps us to understand habitat use by fish species, changes in fish communities over time, ecosystem health. The data has recently been of particular importance in helping to develop evidence packages for the Authority’s Netting Review by providing insights into the value of EFH in the District.

To increase awareness of the IFCA’s fish monitoring program amongst stakeholders and the public a new report format has been developed whereby snapshots of each survey are captured in an easily digestible poster. These posters are then available to partners and the local community of each survey to share through newsletters, notice boards etc. A more comprehensive evaluation of the data will also be captured in a report once both Spring and Autumn surveys have been completed each year.

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11
Nov '21

Working with Industry to Gather Fisheries Data

The IFCAs management of fisheries within the district is evidence based and relies heavily on the collection of relevant data to inform its decision making. An important part of this is the IFCA’s survey programme, which aims to fill gaps in evidence bases and provide ongoing monitoring of certain stocks. Reports are regularly provided to the authority highlighting the results of these, but this article aims to provide information on the process of working with industry to achieve these goals and gather data

Working with industry has some important benefits:

  • It provides the IFCA with on the ground knowledge and expertise when developing, implementing and interpreting the results of surveys.
  • It provides the fishers with an understanding of the process for collecting data and allows industry to feed into the process at an early stage
  • It can provide officers with key platforms (e.g. chartered vessels/gear) for undertaking evidence gathering


When developing and undertaking surveys therefore officers, where appropriate will:
 

  • Engage early with fishers to feed into survey design, getting information where appropriate on survey areas, methods, gear and equipment to use
  • Involve fishers in the undertaking of surveys, where necessary inviting participation or chartering vessels to allow for a partnership approach on evidence gathering.
  • Feedback the results to industry at relevant points, providing information on how this is informing management.

The above has been exemplified in this calendar year where surveys including the Poole Bivalve survey, fish monitoring net surveys, Solent native oyster survey and Solent scallop survey have all involved participation of industry in either the development or undertaking of the survey. The above have fed into management decisions, or ongoing monitoring, therefore contributing towards co-management. 

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18
Oct '21

Poole Fisherman pleads guilty to Obstruction and Retaining Undersize Shellfish

On 18th October 2021 at Poole Magistrates Court, Reginald John Skinner of Poole pleaded guilty to fishing offences.

As part owner of fishing vessel Sky PE1232, Mr. Skinner pleaded guilty to charges of retaining a quantity of undersized clams aboard his vessel and to obstructing enforcement officers from the Southern Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority (Southern IFCA).

The court heard how on 12 th  December 2019, Mr. Skinner’s sons, Andrew & Christopher were fishing from 2 different vessels in Poole Harbour. Aboard fishing vessel Sky PE1232, was Christopher Skinner. Christopher returned from a day’s fishing to the area of his mooring, where he jettisoned numerous bags of shellfish close by and out of view in shallow water. As the tide receded, these and another quantity of bags of shellfish, situated further up the foreshore, came into view.

Warranted officers from the Southern IFCA saw Mr. Reginald Skinner arrive at the location in a vehicle. The bags furthest up the foreshore (9 in total) were lifted into the back of the vehicle before Reginald Skinner returned to the driver’s seat. As he did so Mr. Skinner was hailed by officers who instructed him to stop to allow an inspection of his vehicle and catch of shellfish, but Mr. Skinner prevented the officers from doing so by driving off. The officers made several attempts to stop Mr. Skinner, using hand signals and verbal commands, but he repeatedly failed to comply with officer instructions. The officers eventually had to take evasive action to avoid being struck by Mr. Skinner’s fast moving vehicle.

As the tide receded further, the shellfish previously jettisoned from Mr. Skinner’s fishing vessel Sky PE1232 came into view. In total 9 bags of clams, weighing 332.3kg with an estimated first sale value of between £1329.20 and £1,827.65, were recovered by Southern IFCA officers. The catch was inspected for compliance with the minimum size regulations and an average of 75.9% of the clams were below the minimum conservation reference size of 35mm. Officers returned the seized catch to the harbour alive. Minimum conservation reference sizes are established to ensure the protection of juvenile marine species. They allow individuals to reproduce at least once before they are removed from a fishery.

Mr. Reginald Skinner was fined £400 and ordered to pay £400 towards prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £40. The Southern IFCA cases against Andrew and Christopher Skinner for their involvement in the same incident were heard earlier in the year at Poole Magistrates Court on 12 th May 2021, when they received identical sentences.

Acting Deputy Chief Officer Sam Dell said, “Obstruction of the Authority’s officers will not be tolerated. The Marine and Coastal Access Act gives officers common enforcement powers to carryout inspections and provides robust legislation to assist officers in regard to this type of misconduct.  Southern IFCA is committed to protecting the fishery to ensure healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and a viable industry. By taking offenders to court we aim to support a sustainable local fishery.”

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