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Latest News

Jan' 24

Your Opportunity to Manage Inshore Fisheries and Conservation

The MMO are looking to fill IFCA vacancies for General Members to IFCA Committees and create a reserve list. 

The MMO operates a rolling campaign for the recruitment of IFCA General Members, this means that the IFCA General Member advert will be open to receiving applications for all regional IFCAs from interested candidates throughout the year without the restriction of a cutoff date. The sifting and interviewing of successful applicants will be held on a quarterly basis.

For more information please visit the MMO website - Opportunity to manage inshore fisheries and conservation - GOV.UK (

or contact or

Nov' 23

Court Outcome - Poole Fishermen Plead Guilty

On Wednesday 29th November 2023 at Poole Magistrates Court, Poole fishermen Andrew Skinner & Reginald Skinner, pleaded guilty to taking a quantity of undersized cockles from Poole Harbour, contrary to prohibition (4) of the Fishing for Cockles Byelaw of the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (Southern IFCA) and section 163 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.  Charges were laid by the Southern IFCA and both fishermen were ordered to pay costs and fines totalling £6,456.00.

The court heard how during the morning of Tuesday 13th June 2023, Andrew Skinner was inspected by officers at Fisherman’s Dock, Poole Quay. Mr. Skinner was in possession of 7 bags of cockles and 7 bags of manila clams, which he confirmed had been caught using the fishing vessel Lula Bon PE892 in Poole Harbour. Lula Bon is jointly owned by Andrew Skinner and his father Reginald Skinner.

An inspection of the catch followed. Officers found that the manila clams landed by Mr. Skinner were mainly compliant with the minimum conservation reference size of 35mm. However, based on samples removed for measuring, 33.86% of the cockles were undersized; passing through a gauge having a square opening measuring 23.8mm along each side. The total weight of all shellfish landed by Mr. Skinner was approximately 390kg.

As joint owners of the vessel both Andrew Skinner and Reginald Skinner were liable for the breach of regulations. Each were fined £1200.00 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,548.00 and a surcharge of £480.00.

When asked to comment, Deputy Chief Officer Sam Dell said, “This case sends a clear message that failing to comply with the Authority’s regulations will not be tolerated. The Southern IFCA is committed to the protection of our fish stocks and coastal fisheries, ensuring healthy seas and a viable industry. By taking offenders to court we aim to support a sustainable local fishery.

Sept' 23

MMO Consultation Outcomes - Lyme Bay Sole Fishery

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has unveiled a series of measures connected to the sole fishery in Lyme Bay following a consultation with stakeholders earlier this year.

The consultation ran from 29 March to 28 May 2023 and was followed by an in-person workshop with stakeholders to discuss potential new management measures for the fishery.  Further information on the consultation can be found on the website linked below inlcuding a summary of the consultation responses.

Following analysis of the consultation responses, workshop and evidence investigations, the MMO has published a decision document outlining the results, proposed management measures and next steps. The MMO has also produced a one-pager to summarise the outcomes of consultation and proposed management measures. These documents and further detail can also be found at the below link.

Regional Fisheries Groups - South West 7efg - GOV.UK (

Sept' 23

Southern IFCA Net Fishing Byelaw

The Net Fishing Byelaw as been ratified by the Secretary of State, introducing various measures to regulate fishing with nets within the Southern IFCA District.  

The Net Fishing Byelaw has been developed following the Authority’s decision to review and develop regulations for the District’s harbours and estuarine waters in order to support the use of these areas as essential fish habitats, to provide protection to migratory salmonids as they transit through these areas, to balance the social and economic benefits of net fishers and to further the Conservation Objectives of Designated sites.   

The Byelaw introduced three types of management area: 

  • Net Prohibition Areas 
  • Net Restriction Areas 
  • Net Permit Areas 

In addition, the Byelaw introduces requirements for the marking of nets by all fishers within the District, a definition for a ring net and a method for how a ring net must be used and provisions relating to the use of a net within a Bass Nursery Area. 

For more information on the Net Fishing Byelaw please visit the Net Fishing page and if you are wanting to find out more about the Net Permits please visit the Net Fishing Permit page .  

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