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Latest News

Sept '21

Recruiting: Finance and Administration Manager

Southern IFCA recruiting for Finance and Administration Manager. Closing date 22nd October 2021. Please see details on the vacancies page (here)Southern IFCA recruiting for Finance and Administration Manager. Closing date 22nd October 2021. Please see details on the vacancies page.

Sept '21

Six Months of our New Website

It has been six months since our new website went live! The website was an immediate success with twenty-one people completing our feedback form in its first month. The resounding majority loved and were extremely positive about it. Feedback included the comments: 'easy to navigate', 'looks very professional', 'very informative' and 'like the pictures'. A couple of visitors noticed a minor teething error that the minimum sizes were missing so we quickly added this to several pages. 


Behind the scenes the work on the website has continued led by Debbie, IFCO Griffiths and IFCO Smith. Our officers have had to learn how to edit the website. For some pages this is as simple as amending text and replacing images, however for other pages editing requires an understanding of the computer code which programmes how the website looks and works. In some instances, good old-fashioned trial and error have come into play when working out exactly which lines of code are needed to achieve the specific function. For example, the code needed to make our news articles ‘dropdown’ and the settings required to make images adapt to different screen sizes. Of course, if we really get stuck our web developers Toolkit are always happy to help make an edit or teach us how to.


We have fully utilised this exciting resource since it went live posting many news articles, used pages such as ‘Live consultations' for the first time and have uploaded more than eight new pages including:


Continue checking in regualrly with our webiste to keep up to date with the latest information!

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Sept '21

Poole Harbour Bivalve Stock Assessment

Southern IFCA have published the annual bivalve survey results for Poole Harbour. The survey gathered data on the catch per unit effort (CPUE) and size of clams and cockles throughout the Harbour.

CPUE has remained consistent with that seen in 2019 indicating that the clam population remains stable.

See the full survey results on our Fisheries and Research Poole Harbour Fisheries page.

Sept '21

Behind the Scenes with IFCO Cooper

In 2015 Southern IFCA worked with local angling representatives to develop the Recreational Angling Sector Group in line with Southern IFCAs recreational angling strategy. The group is facilitated by the IFCA and I provide the secretariat duties for the group. The group is chaired owned by the anglers making up its membership.

The group has a number of aims, but those identified in the terms of reference are:

- 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 local anglers and the relevant management bodies.

I have found working with this group particularly interesting and useful. It has formed an important part Southern IFCA’s work to date, most recently feeding into the development of the Piers code of conduct. Having feedback from the group will be vital moving forward, particularly with workstreams such as the MCRS review and Bream MCZ management on the horizon. The access it provides officers to a key stakeholder group is really useful and I hope to continue working closely with members of the group in the future.

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Aug '21

Solent Scallop Fishery Stock Assessment

Southern IFCA have completed the first baseline survey of scallops in the Solent. The survey gathered data on the catch rate and size of king scallops (Pecten maximums) on the Eastern side of the Solent. We found a good number of scallops in the area ranging in size from 5 cm to 14 cm in width.

See the full survey results on the Fisheries and Research Solent Dredge Fisheries page.

Southern IFCA will use this baseline survey data to compare to future survey results. The evidence will be used to inform future management measures for the scallop fishery under our Solent Dredge Permit.

Aug '21

Behind the Scenes with IFCO Birchenough

In 2020 I helped to work on the issuing of leases for the Poole Fishery Order 2015 for the next five-year period (2020-25). During this process, the use of Pacific oysters as an aquaculture species was discussed due to their designation as an Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS). This discussion led to an in depth look at the science behind this species including whether any wild populations were forming as a result of the aquaculture activity.

The Pacific oyster has been present in Poole since 1890 and the Harbour is currently the largest Pacific oyster production area in England. It is an important aquaculture species with a total economic activity value in Poole of over £2 million annually. This is an interesting topic and one which is also at the forefront nationally with Defra poised to issue a position paper on the use of this species in aquaculture in the future.

From our local perspective, we identified that up-to-date scientific data was needed on the occurrence of any wild Pacific oyster population in Poole Harbour. We are now working with the University of Southampton to run a survey to assess the population of wild Pacific oysters in Poole Harbour as part of a Masters project. The aim is to carry out this survey for the first time during the summer of 2021 covering a variety of different shore locations across the Harbour. The data from the survey will be used alongside other relevant data sources, such as indications of levels of natural change in wild Pacific oyster populations, to help inform future reviews of management measures. We will be liaising with Natural England following the initial survey to discuss the results and develop an ongoing survey program and a Monitoring and Control Plan for the fishery.

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Jul '21

Minimum Conservation Reference Size Byelaw

Southern IFCA is pleased to announce the confirmation of the Minimum Conservation Reference Size Byelaw. The byelaw introduces minimum sizes to enable the protection of juvenile fish and shellfish species. These minimum size measures will be applied throughout the commercial supply chain and to recreational fishers. The measures include new minimum sizes for wrasse species, grey mullet species and crawfish. The byelaw is now in force throughout the Southern IFC District. 

Additional information on the byelaw can be found in our MCRS Byelaw Frequently Asked Questions and on our Minimum Sizes Regulations page.

Jul '21

Raising awareness of wildlife disturbance in Dorset

Southern IFCA have recently been working with a number of partner agencies, including the MMO, MCA, RNLI, Dorset Police, Dorset Police Marine Unit, Dorset Police Rural Crime Unit, PHC and BCP council, to engage with various stakeholders, recreational vessels and personal watercraft users regarding wildlife disturbance in Dorset. 

To find out more, please follow this link:

Jul '21

Opportunity to become a Committee Member of the Southern IFCA

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a candidate with a scientific background to become a member of the Southern IFCA and take an active role in fisheries management and marine conservation in the coastal waters of Dorset, Hampshire & the Isle of Wight.

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a candidate with a scientific background to become a member of the Southern IFCA and take an active role in fisheries management and marine conservation in the coastal waters of Dorset, Hampshire & the Isle of Wight.

These voluntary roles require candidates who can take a balanced approach to caring for our seas, assessing the priority and importance of all users and stakeholders. It is essential that candidates have a good local knowledge of the IFCA area for which they are applying. The members of the IFCA contribute their knowledge and experience to provide sustainable management of the inshore marine area of their IFC District.

We are seeking to appoint hands-on individuals with good communication skills and an ability to circulate IFCA regulations, policies, and guidance through their network of contacts to serve as a member.

These are exciting opportunities for people with experience and a passion for their inshore marine area to play a major part in shaping how their local area is managed. If you want to make a positive difference and help balance economic, social, and environmental needs, we would be pleased to hear from you.

We seek to achieve a balanced membership across various interest groups, including those with commercial, recreational, and environmental interests. To assist in maintaining this balance the MMO seek to appoint the following:

Southern IFCA welcomes applications from candidates with a scientific background within the marine environment and working knowledge of the IFC District.

The role is on a voluntary basis although relevant expenses may be reimbursed. Each appointment is made for a period of 3 to 5 years, with the possibility of reappointment up to a maximum of 10 years.

The deadline for applications is 23:55 on Sunday 1 August 2021.

Should you wish to discuss the role of a general member in greater detail or require assistance with completion of your application form please speak to Southern IFCA. Contact details can be found here Contact Us. 

To read the Candidate pack CLICK HERE.
To complete or print the application form see here: Printable form & Digital Form
Read the DEFRA Guidance on appointment of committee members to IFCAs. 

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Jun '21

Minimum Conservation Reference Sizes – Call for Information

Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) have launched a ‘Call for Information’ in order to gather additional evidence to support and inform our Review of Minimum Conservation Reference Sizes (MCRS) in the Southern IFC District (“the District”).

The Review aims to (1) assess existing MCRS limits, which are currently applicable across the District, and (2), to consider whether there is a need to introduce MCRS’s for additional species, which are not currently subject to a MCRS within the District.

The ‘Call for Information’ is open until 20 th July 2021.

Please visit our ‘ Live Consultations ’ page for more information and to access the online survey.

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Jun '21

Net Fishing Around Piers Code of Practice

Southern IFCA has introduced a new Code of Practice for net fishing around piers. The Net Fishing Around Piers Code of Practice is a non-regulatory approach to prevent the use of fishing nets, except landing and drop nets, from within 200m of nine piers in the Southern IFC District. The piers affected are:

  • Sandown Pier , Sandown, Isle of Wight;
  • Ryde Pier Head , Ryde, Isle of Wight;
  • South Parade Pier , Portsmouth, Hampshire;
  • Yarmouth Pier , Yarmouth, Isle of Wight;
  • Boscombe Pier , Bournemouth, Dorset;
  • Bournemouth Pier , Bournemouth, Dorset;
  • Swanage Pier , Swanage, Dorset;
  • Weymouth Stone Pier , Weymouth, Dorset; and
  • Weymouth Pleasure Pier , Weymouth, Dorset.

These measures aim to balance the different needs of persons engaged in the exploitation of sea fisheries resources in the Southern IFC District, in line with the Authority’s duties under the Marine and Coastal Access Act, 2009. Recreational sea angling is popular activity in the Southern IFC District and the pier locations in this Code of Practice provide important access for participants. Concerns have been raised over the potential for fishing nets, when used near these pier structures, to negatively impact recreational sea angling activity.

This Code of Practice was developed through the Southern IFCA Netting Review as a first alternative to a byelaw as sector representatives from the Recreational Angling Sector Group (RASG) and the South Coast Fisherman’s Council (SCFC) have identified the potential to address the matter through small changes in fishing practice.

This Code of Practice will be reviewed no later than 31 st December 2022. Should the code prove ineffective, Southern IFCA will consider the introduction of regulatory measures.

The Authority will now publicise these new measures amongst the fishing community, we would welcome your support in doing so. A useful poster can be DOWNLOADED HERE. If you would like to report information to the Authority relating to the possible non-compliance of this code you can complete the form on our website (Contact Us : Southern IFCA ( or call 01202 721373. When doing so, please remember to include a description of the fishing gear and vessels.

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May '21

Poole Fishermen plead guilty to Obstruction and Retaining Undersize Shellfish

On 12 th May 2021 at Poole Magistrates Court, brothers Andrew Skinner and Christopher Skinner of Poole pleaded guilty to fishing offences.

As part owner of fishing vessel Sky PE1232, Mr. Andrew 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).

As master and part owner of fishing vessel Sky PE1232, Mr. Christopher Skinner pleaded guilty to retaining a quantity of undersized clams.

The court heard how on 12 th December 2019 in Poole Harbour, both brothers were fishing from different vessels. Christopher Skinner, aboard Sky PE1232, returned from a day’s fishing close to the area of his mooring, where he discarded numerous bags of shellfish out of view in shallow water. Soon afterwards, in a slightly different location nearby, Southern IFCA officers saw Andrew Skinner load 9 bags of shellfish into the back of his vehicle.

Warranted officers from the Southern IFCA attended the area to carry out an inspection of Andrew Skinner’s catch and vehicle for compliance with the regulations, but Andrew 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 Andrew Skinner repeatedly failed to comply with officer instructions. The officers eventually had to take evasive action to avoid being struck by his fast moving vehicle.

Officers remained in the area. As the tide receded, the shellfish previously discarded by Christopher Skinner 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.

Andrew Skinner and Christopher Skinner were both fined £400, both ordered to pay £400 towards prosecution costs and both ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £40.

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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May '21

Southern IFCA's New Drone

Southern IFCA have recently been working with heliguy™ to procure a DJI M300 RTK drone for fisheries enforcement, management and research purposes. The DJI M300 RTK drone is fitted with a H20T camera, which has thermal imaging, zoom and wide-angle functions and therefore, will enhance Southern IFCA's enforcement capabilities. The drone will also be utilised for research and conservation, which will feed into current and future management measures.

To read more about Southern IFCA's drone, please see our Drone and ROV page and read the following blog post written by heliguy™ - IFCA USING DJI M300 RTK DRONE FOR UK FISHERIES MANAGEMENT.

May '21

Solent Dredge Permit Applications

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN for the Solent Dredge Permit Byelaw.

The byelaw comes into force on the 1st November 2021 and prohibits the use of a dredge by a vessel in the Solent, Southampton Water, Portsmouth Harbour and Langstone Harbour, unless authorised by a permit.

For details regarding who can apply and how to submit an application, please visit the Solent Permit Application Page.

Apr '21

Poole fisher pleads guilty to Obstruction and Failure to Comply charges

On 19 th April 2021 at Poole Magistrates Court, Mr. Patrick Hennessy of Poole pleaded guilty to charges of Obstructing and Failing to Comply with an enforcement officer from the Southern Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority (Southern IFCA).

The court heard how on the night of 12 th January 2020 in Poole Harbour Mr. Hennessy was fishing from an unregistered, unlicenced fishing boat. Mr. Hennessy was intercepted by Southern IFCA officers aboard the Fisheries Patrol Vessel. He was asked by officers to stop, to allow an inspection of his vessel, but he failed to do so. The officers were obstructed in the performance of their officer functions when Mr. Hennessy threw his catch and fishing equipment overboard.

Mr. Hennessy was fined £150 for obstructing enforcement officer Adam Parry and a further £150 for failing to comply with a direction reasonably given by officer Parry. In addition, Mr. Hennessy was ordered to pay £500 towards prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £32.

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Apr '21

Administration and Permitting Officer

Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority are currently looking for a reliable individual who will undertake administrative tasks which will contribute to the teams’ delivery of sustainable fisheries management within the coastal waters of Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight.

For more information please visit our VACANCIES page.

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