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Latest News

02
Feb '23

 Update Published on Engagement by MMO on Channel Non-Quota Demersal Stocks FMP

The Marine Management Organisation has finalised dates, times and places for its second round of conversations with south coast fishers about the Channel demersal non-quota species Fisheries Management Plan.

Please visit Channel non-quota species FMP engagement update - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) for details including the engagement schedule or visit our dedicated FMP webpage where you can find a link to the engagement schedule.

30
Jan '23

UK Seafood Fund Fleet Modernisation Round Open

The Fleet Modernisation round, part of the £100 million UK Seafood Fund, is now open for applications until 31st October 2023 to support the catching sector. 

The UK fishing industry is to benefit from an initial £2 million investment to trial new, greener engines that will reduce fuel costs and help create a safer, more sustainable fishing fleet. Vessels in the small-scale coastal fleet can bid for up to £40,000 to trial hybrid and electric engines, and up to £20,000 to fund replacement petrol and diesel engines that are more environmentally friendly. 

As well as supporting the fishing indsutry to deal with rising fuel costs, the trial aims to gather new data and evidence to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve efficiency and reliability, and help the fishing industry to reach net zero.

This round will be administered by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), more details can be found online on the Infrastructure Scheme webpage and the UK Fisheries Support System (UKFSS) page. 

30
Jan '23

MMO Call for evidence: ICES area 7d and Lyme Bay king scallop dredge fishery closure

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO), acting on behalf of all four UK Fisheries Administrations have published a call for evidence on a proposal to close UK waters of ICES area 7d and Lyme Bay area of 7e to the king scallop (Pecten maximus) dredge fishery. The proposed closure periods are from 15th May, 1st July or 1st August to 30th September 2023 to EU and UK vessels.

The proposed closure is designed to offer protection for king scallops during their spawning season, support future growth in the population and limit depletion of the stock in area 7e due to displacement of fishing effort. 

Please click here for more information including details on how to respond to the call for evidence. The consultation will close at 11:45pm on 19th March 2023.

23
Jan '23

MMO formal consultation on Marine Protected Areas Bottom Towed Fishing Gear Byelaw 2023 and call for evidence on impacts of remaining fishing gear interactions in offshore MPAs in England

Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is seeking views on a draft byelaw, and associated Impact Assessment, to manage fishing using bottom towed gear in specified areas in 13 marine protected areas (MPAs). 

This byelaw is part of Stage 2 of the MMO's work to manage fishing in England’s offshore MPAs. Stage 2 focusses on the management of bottom towed gear over rock, and rocky and biogenic reef features. These features are some of the most sensitive to the impacts of bottom towed fishing. A call for evidence on a draft assessment of the impact of bottom towed gear on these features was held between 14 May and 10 July 2022.  

For more information on the formal consultation including how to participate please visit Formal Consultation - MMO management of fishing activity impacts in marine protected areas - Stage 2 - Defra - Citizen Space

 

Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is also seeking additional evidence and views on our draft 'Stage 3 Fishing Gear MPA Impacts Evidence' documents in relation to the impacts of fishing on designated features in marine protected areas (MPAs). These documents collate and analyse the best available evidence on the impacts of fishing gears on MPA features and will inform site level assessments of the impact of fishing on MPAs as part of Stage 3 of the MMO’s work to manage fishing in MPAs.

Stage 3 covers all remaining interactions between fishing gear and designated seabed features within MPAs not already assessed in Stages 1 and 2. The impacts of fishing on MPAs designated for marine birds and harbour porpoise will be addressed in a separate Stage 4.

For more information on the call for evidence including how to participate please visit Call for evidence – gear-feature interactions in marine protected areas - Stage 3 - Defra - Citizen Space

Both the formal consultation and the call for evidence close on 28th March 2023.

23
Jan '23

MMO to hold quayside and online conversations with fishers on Channel Non-Quota Demersal Stocks FMP

The MMO are holding a fresh set of quayside conversations with fishers in ports on the south coast to get their views on ongoing development of the Channel demersal non-quota species FMP.

They are particularly interested in what fishers think of the vision and goals proposed for the FMP and any other matters relating to the FMP during sessions to be held in February and March. There will also be sessions online for fishers who may struggle to meet in person.

Further details of the vision and goals, along with more specific information about location and timings for the discussions will be communicated over the coming month. The MMO are encouraging fishers to keep an eye on MMO social media channels, the MMO website and for posters in harbours to find out more. 
For more information visit our FMP information page.
13
Jan '23

Exciting opportunity to participate in the management of inshore fisheries and marine conservation

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has several current and upcoming general member vacancies in the ten regional Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCA) across England.

MMO will be seeking to appoint to fill current vacancies and create a reserve list for upcoming vacancies. These voluntary roles require candidates who can take a balanced approach to caring for our seas, assessing the priorities and needs of all users and stakeholders. It is essential that candidates have some 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 their IFCA district.

The MMO are also accepting applications from both current and former IFCA general members who are nearing the end of their ten-year term as well as those members who have left having already served a ten-year term. Applications from these members will be considered alongside all other applicants in a fair an open competitive process and will be appointed on merit to ensure a fair balance of sector representation.

For more information on the role of an IFCA General Member, details of opportunities for specific IFCAs and details on how to apply please visit the MMO website at the link below:
Exciting opportunity to participate in the management of inshore fisheries and marine conservation - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

10
Jan '23

Report suspicious behaviour on the coast or at sea: Project Kraken

Project Kraken is a national campaign led by Border Force which aims to increase viligance and awareness of suspicious behaviour around the UK coastline. Border Force are working together with the community and other law enforcement authorities to help tackle maritime border crime. To find out more or how to report suspicious behaviour, click 'Read more' below and see the  gov.uk website and the Crimestoppers website.

Report it, let’s sort it

Border Force covers over 11,000 miles of mainland coastline, operating in and around small ports and marinas. Border Force raises vigilance and awareness of suspicious behaviour which may be linked to terrorism or other serious crime.

Project Kraken is a joint law enforcement operation tackling maritime border crime.

Make a report online or call the Coastal Crime Line on 0800 011 3304 to report suspicious or unusual behaviour on the coastline or at sea.

You do not have to give your name when making a report.

In an emergency, always call 999.

Border Force has partnered with Crimestoppers and Project Falco to create the Coastal Crime Line.

  

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03
Oct '22

Southern IFCA Annual Report April 2021 to March 2022 - Now Available!

The Southern IFCA Annual Report for the period April 2021 to March 2022 has now been published on our website! View the Annual Report for April 2021 to March 2022.

The IFCA are required, under the Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009), to produce an Annual Report, which seeks to provide an account of the work delivered during the previous reporting year. This report is sent to the Secretary of State annually following the end of the financial year.  

The Report shines a spotlight on some of our key delivery priorities over the last year including;

  • Marine licensing
  • Working with academic institutions
  • Deployment of our drone
  • Intelligence and investigation outcomes
  • Joint working with partner organisations
  • Development of management measures including for net fishing and pot fishing
  • Sustainable fisheries management in Poole and the Solent


There's something in there for everyone, we encourage you to take a look! 

Copies of this and previous Annual Reports can also be found on our Authority Reports page.

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28
Sep '22

New website page - Fisheries Management Plans

A new page has been launched on the Southern IFCA website to signpost our stakeholders to sources of information on the development of Fisheries Management Plans (FMPs) under The Fisheries Act 2020. Information is provided on the delivery partners who are working with Defra to develop each of the 'frontrunner' FMPs, updates from those delivery partners and any engagement opportunities. Contact information is also provided for the relevant delivery partner for each FMP.

Please click here to visit our new FMP page and use the clickable links within the page to navigate to information on a particular FMP.

23
Sep '22

King Scallop FMP in English & Welsh Waters

Seafish are currently developing a King Scallop Fisheries Management Plan (FMP). They are looking for you to get invovled during stakeholder events. This work is being led by the Scallop Industry Consultation Group Working Group, an industry-led co-management group. 

Please click here for more details including a list of engagement events

For more information or to register your interest in attending an event please contact fisheriesmanagementplans@seafish.co.uk. 

01
Sep '22

MSC Reassessment and 4th year Surveillance Audit Announced for Poole Clam & Cockle Fishery

The process of undertaking the 4th annual surveillance audit for the Marine Stewardship Council certification of the Poole Clam & Cockle Fishery has commenced. In addition, the fishery is also entering the process of re-assessment as the current certification (valid for 5 years) will come to an end in 2023. The audit and reassessment are being carried out by Control Union (UK) Limited.

There are three documents associated with this process which are currently open for stakeholder consultation on the MSC website, please click here to visit the page.

Stakeholder input is an essential source of information to the assessment process, please visit the above link for more information including how to register your interest in engaging with the assessment process for this fishery.

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20
July '22

Get Involved - Online debate for the new Bass Fisheries Management Plan (FMP)

As part of its work on the new bass fisheries management plan (FMP), Policy Lab will be running a nationwide online debate in which stakeholders from across the sector can get involved to share their ideas for the new FMP. This will take place between Monday 15th - Friday 19th August 2022. Participants take part by anonymously logging onto a platform for around 10 mins each day. While on the platform, they are presented with a series of statements about the bass world and the FMP, which they can vote to agree or disagree with. 

You can sign up by clicking here: https://tinyurl.com/bassfmpci
01
July '22

Policy Lab Drop-in Session for Sea Bass Fisheries Management Plan (FMP)

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) will publish a new Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) for sea bass in 2023. Defra and Policy Lab are working together to co-create the new plan with a diverse range of individuals and interest groups in this space. 

Policy Lab are running a drop-in session In Poole on 6th July between 10.30am - 3pm at the Quay Cafe to meet with fishers to discuss experiences of bass and perspectives for the new bass FMP.

Please click here for more information.

17
June '22

Bottom Towed Fishing Gear Consultation Begins!

On Friday the 17th of June 2022, the 6 week consultation period for the bottom towed fishing gear byelaw review began. 
 

The current byelaw manages the use of bottom towed fishing gear within the district through closure areas and gear restrictions. The consultation takes into account updated evidence and Southern IFCA invites responses from any interested parties until the 1st of August 2022. 

For more information visit our Live Consultations page for the full document and guidance on how to respond to the consultation. 

8
June '22

Court Outcome - Viviers (UK) Ltd. 7th June 2022

On Tuesday 7th June 2022 at Portsmouth Magistrates Court, Viviers (UK) Ltd., Fish and Shellfish Merchants, Camber Docks, Gunwharf Road, Portsmouth, pleaded guilty to 3 counts of storing undersized shellfish on their premises. Charges were laid by the Southern Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority and Viviers (UK) Ltd. were ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £10,946.00.

The court heard how on Thursday 16th December 2021 officers from the Southern IFCA attended the premises and carried out an inspection of the shellfish contained within. 317kg of manila clams were found stored within Viviers (UK) Ltd. A random sample of clams were inspected, of which an average of 12.4% measured below the Minimum Conservation Reference Size of 35mm (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).

Officers returned to the premises for a follow-up inspection on Tuesday 21st December 2021, when they found 1000kg of manila clams stored within the premises. This time the percentage of undersized clams was much higher. Officers from the Southern IFCA individually measured 2250 manila clams, of which 1072 (47.6%) measured below the Minimum Conservation Reference Size. In addition, 38 undersized American Hard-Shelled clams were identified (The Minimum Conservation Reference Size for this type of clam is 63mm).

For the offence committed on 16th December 2021 the court issued Viviers (UK) Ltd. with a fine of £2000. In relation to the offences committed on 16th December 2021 - the company were fined £4000, for storing undersized manila clams, and £750 for undersized American Hard-Shelled clams. They were also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £4006 and a victim surcharge of £190, making the total of all fines & costs £10,946.

When asked to comment, Deputy Chief Officer Sam Dell said, “Minimum size legislation is the principle management tool to protect clams and the purchasing 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 fishing industry. This type of illegal activity puts other legitimate Merchants at a disadvantage; by pursuing these matters vigorously through court we aim to support legitimate operators and protect the local fisheries”.

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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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