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Latest News

June' 24

Vacancy - Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Officer (IFCO) 

Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) are currently looking for an individual who will contribute to the operational delivery of Control and Enforcement in the inshore coastal waters of Hampshire, Dorset, and the Isle of Wight.
The diverse commercial and recreational fisheries within the district play a vital role in supporting the coastal communities along our coast. The district also hosts a network of nationally and internationally important Marine Protected Areas.

In this exciting and dynamic role, the successful candidate will work across the Authority’s three Fisheries Protection Vessels, operating in either the role of Skipper or crew (subject to previous experience). Accordingly the individual will either facilitate and/or undertake boardings of fishing vessels at sea, in addition to conducting shore-based inspections of vessels and premises.

In this varied operational role, the successful applicant will also support Southern IFCA in its delivery of drone flight operations in accordance with business needs. Collectively, both onshore and at sea work will help support Southern IFCA’s delivery of its statutory duties relating to fisheries and conservation management.

Whilst delivering operational marine functions, the successful candidate will undertake training to become a warranted IFCO. Once qualified as an IFCO, the successful applicant will champion the delivery of proportionate and effective regulatory enforcement of Southern IFCA byelaws, as well as national fisheries legislation, working as a member of the Compliance and Enforcement Team.

The successful candidate will be a good team player with excellent communication skills, with an ability to develop and maintain professional working relationships in order to promote and maintain compliance via stakeholder engagement.

This is an exciting time to join Southern IFCA, where realisation as an independent coastal state is forging new ways of governance in inshore fisheries. In addition, during 2024 Southern IFCA will be introducing a new bespoke Fisheries Protection Vessel, which has been procured to support the future delivery of compliance and enforcement across the District’s waters. We look forward to receiving applications from dynamic and motivated individuals who are invested in promoting and delivering the National IFCA vision.

Click here for more information 

May' 24

Southern IFCA Online Permitting System

Southern IFCA are pleased to announce the launch of a new online Permitting System.
Applying for your permit using the Permitting System allows you to;

  •   Access your permit information securely online via pc, tablet or mobile phone
  •   Upload your vessel’s documents
  •   Dispense with unnecessary paperwork
  •   Avoid postal costs and the risk of delayed and lost post

At present only the Southern IFCA Fishing for Sale Permit is available on the online Permitting System, however, more permits will become available as we progress with the system.

Click here for more information 

Apr' 24

Defra Webinar on Tranche 4 FMPs

Defra has started the development of its final four Fisheries Management Plans (FMP) projects:

  • Celtic Sea and Western channel demersal FMP for English and Welsh waters
  • Celtic Sea and Western channel pelagic FMP for English and Welsh waters
  • Black seabream FMP for English waters
  • Wrasses complex FMP for English waters

A webinar will be held on Wednesday 17th April 2024 at 13:15 to introduce these FMPs.

Join Defra for presentations about the stocks covered by these plans, who is preparing them and how stakeholders can get involved. Following the presentations, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about these plans.

Anyone with an interest in these FMPs and commercial fishing, recreational fishing, and the marine environment is invited to book a place and find out how to get involved in the development of these plans.

Bookings can be made at this link - FMP events- Introduction to the final four FMPs for English waters Tickets, Wed 17 Apr 2024 at 13:15 | Eventbrite

Mar' 24

Report to Parliament about IFCAs Conduct and Operations 2018-2022

The Secretary of State must prepare a statutory report into the conduct and operation of the ten IFCAs every four years, which must be laid before parliament.

The third report will cover the period from September 2018 to September 2022. The report will assess the IFCA's against their five high level objectives set out in the IFCA Vision and Success Criteria document set out in the 2014-2018 Conduct and Operations Report on the IFCAs.

A consultation is currently underway to inform the 2018-2022 report. Defra are seeking feedback in response to the consultation which will contribute to the content of the third Conduct and Operations Report.

For more information on the consultation and how to take part please visit 

Report to Parliament about Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities' (IFCAs) conduct and operations 2018-2022 - Defra - Citizen Space

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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