Archived News Articles

9 July 2018,
Viviers UK fined for undersized whelks

At Portsmouth Magistrates Court on the 2nd of July Viviers UK Ltd., owners of the registered fishing vessel P11 “Ask Me” and Mr Paul Lambert then master of the Portsmouth based boat were fined and ordered to pay costs of £8,666 for illegal fishing.
Lambert & Viviers UK entered guilty pleas and were both ordered to pay a fine of £2,500, costs of £1,663 each and a victim surcharge of £170.
The court heard that Lambert had been issued with two very recent verbal warnings prior to him committing the offence. The bench considered Portsmouth based Viviers UK prior convictions for illegal fishing.
Southern IFCA presented evidence that the minimum landing size for whelks is a key measure to protect stocks. Whelks are slow growing whelk and consequently vulnerable to over exploitation.
Commenting on the case for Southern IFCA a spokesperson said “Illegal fishing threatens for the sustainability of the stock in the Solent. Legitimate fishermen are losing out because of the actions of those who not take adequate measures to ensure that they land only mature shellfish”.

2 June 2018,
Wareham Channel - Seasonal Upgrade

Poole Council Environmental Health have issued a notice to fishermen of a change in Food Standards Agency classification of Wareham Channel. Please see the letter here.

24 May 2018,
Inshore Potting Review - Call for Information

Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) is starting a review of the existing management arrangements for potting fisheries within the Southern IFCA district. To begin this process we are seeking the fishing communities views on current pot fisheries for whelks, cuttlefish and crab and lobster.

Fishing with pots for shellfish is really important to coastal communities in Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight and for some species represents an inshore fishing activity which has been carried out for generations. In order to support these coastal communities and the future sustainability of fishing, Southern IFCA has begun a process to review the management arrangements for these inshore pot fisheries. We are at the start of this process and want to hear your views from the outset.

As a guide, we are asking stakeholders to consider a response to the following questions:

1.       Do you currently fish for pots in the Southern IFCA district? If yes, please specify area fished and target species.

2.       What are your views on the current inshore pot fisheries in your local area?

3.       What improvements would you like to see in these fisheries? If any?

4.       How do you think these improvements could be achieved?

5.       Please provide any more information you think would be helpful.

To begin this process, we have written to all fishermen who hold a Southern IFCA permit and indicate they go potting and have also been in contact with local fishermen’s associations. Please click here to see a copy of the letter sent to fishermen.

We are asking for responses in writing, either by email or letter, on or before 29th June 2018 . Prior to this date, we encourage stakeholders to discuss views and opinions with Southern IFCA officers and are happy to arrange meetings with officers.

Please respond:

By email:

In writing: Southern IFCA, 64 Ashley Road, Parkstone, Poole, Dorset, BH14 9BN

The information received during this process will be used to consider what, if any, further measures may be taken to support local fisheries. If further measures are identified we will conduct a period of informal consultation during late 2018.

At the end of this ‘call for information’ we will summarise the responses received and place this summary on our website at .

Copies of responses will be made available to the public on request. If you do not want your response, including your name, contact details and any other personal information, to be made available publicly, please so say clearly in writing when you send your response to the consultation. Please explain why you need to keep details confidential. We will take your reasons into account if someone asks for this information under the freedom of information legislation. Because of these laws, we cannot promise that we will always be able to keep these details confidential.

We looking forward to hearing from you.

12 February 2018,
2018 Internship Projects
Southern IFCA is offering an exciting opportunity for three volunteer internship placements during Summer 2018. The successful applicants will lead the delivery of individual projects directly informing inshore fisheries management as part of the Authority's ongoing duties.
Internships will last for a period of six weeks between April and September, depending on the project, with an approximate commitment of 20 hours per working week. Working hours and location will be flexible; however volunteers will be required to work from the Southern IFCA office for a minimum of one day per week. Volunteers will be supported by a project mentor and as part of the placement Southern IFCA will provide training opportunities in key areas that enable volunteers to develop their experience and understanding of inshore fisheries management.
The Southern IFCA Policy and Guidance for Engaging Volunteers describes what volunteers should expect from Southern IFCA and how volunteers should conduct themselves whilst involved with the Authority.
To apply for the placements applicants should send a copy of their CV together with a letter outlining which project(s) they would be interested in applying for and explaining in no more than 1000 words why they would be suitable for the role. Applications should be sent to the Southern IFCA office titled '2018 Internships' by email ( ) or post by 12 noon on Monday 5th March 2018. Full information on the interview arrangements will be sent to those candidates who have been short listed.

1 February 2018,
Guidance on 2018 Bass Fishing
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has published guidance on bass fishing in 2018 for fishermen in England. This follows publication of Council Regulation 2018/120 within the Official Journal of the European Union.

The European Commission has determined that bass stocks remain under pressure despite the measures taken in previous years. It has placed further restrictions on the commercial and recrational fishing sectors in order to address this. The regulations apply to all vessels. 

Please click here for the Guidance on 2018 Bass Fishing

20 November 2017,
Important Information on New Fishing Byelaws - Please Read

New management has been introduced for methods of bottom towed fishing gear within the coastal waters of Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight following the confirmation of two new Southern IFCA byelaws by the Secretary of State.

In order to further the conservation objectives of the District's marine protected areas and to enhance the environmental, socio-economic and fisheries sustainability of the Southern IFC District, Southern IFCA has introduced two new byelaws:

The Solent Dredge Fishing Byelaw prohibits the use of fishing dredges within all areas of Portsmouth Harbour, Langstone Harbour and Southampton Water between 1st March and 31st October inclusive each year and between 17.00 and 07.00 hours each day. During these closed periods a person must not retain on board a vessel, or store or transport a dredge by means of a vessel unless all parts of the dredge are inboard and above the sea. 

In addition to existing spatial closures, the Bottom Towed Fishing Gear Byelaw 2016 introduces new closure areas for all methods of bottom towed gear fishing within parts of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Solent, Langstone Harbour, Portsmouth Harbour, Southampton Water, Poole Bay and Lyme Bay. Whilst transiting through any of these areas all parts of bottom towed fishing gear must be inboard and above the sea. Detailed maps of the closed areas can be found here.

All fishers who plan to use bottom towed fishing gear within the Southern IFC District should be familiar with these new regulations. Southern IFCA officers will be working with the community throughout the District to ensure fishers are familiar with these new regulations and additional patrols will be organised to monitor compliance. Both byelaws are now in place and the measures will be enforced by Southern IFCA.

Full copies of both byelaws, together with associated documents can be found on the Southern IFCA website ( If you would like any further information please call Southern IFCA on 01202 721373 or email

02 August 2017,
Wrasse Fishery Guidance

Southern IFCA has a duty to manage the exploitation of sea fisheries resources in the coastal waters of Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to ensure a sustainable marine environment and inshore fisheries, by successfully securing the right balance between social, environmental and economic benefits to ensure healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and a viable industry.

Over the past two years a new fishery for live wrasse has developed on the South coast of England. Fish are transported to Scottish salmon farms to be used as cleaner fish for the removal of sea-lice as a biological alternative to the use of anti-parasitic chemical treatments.  


Southern IFCA has, in collaboration with other South-west IFCAs, developed a co-ordinated management response to the developing live wrasse fishery through identifying a range of important management measures and research priorities. At an Authority meeting on 29 th  June, Southern IFCA Committee Members chose to adopt new management for the district’s fishery for live wrasse. These measures require fishers to observe a range of measures designed to preserve the long term sustainability of the local wrasse populations.

A range of species specific maximum and minimum sizes have been developed in order to maintain recruitment into the fishery through aligning minimum sizes above the size of sexual maturity. The maximum size will serve to maintain a balanced population structure through protecting the larger established family groups from capture. Maximum sizes are particularly effective at protecting the longer-lived and larger growing wrasse species which employ a hermaphrodite reproductive strategy.

No take zones are believed to afford effective and long-term protection for species with high site fidelity and small home ranges/territories, like those exhibited by local wrasse species (Morel et al., 2013). A series of no take zones and no potting zones have been developed within the Southern IFCA district, in many cases overlapping with the boundaries of Marine Protected Areas. In addition, popular sites for recreational sea fishing have been included as no take zones in order to reduce conflict between users and to ease the pressure on wrasse populations in these areas.

A fishing closed season from April to June (inclusive) has also been introduced to protect wrasse populations during their peak spawning period. Additional measures include a restriction on the placing of wrasse pots to waters less than 10m deep to protect the survivability of catches together with a restriction of 80 pots per vessel in order to restrict fishing effort.

In collaboration with a range of partners including Natural England and industry operators, Southern IFCA has commenced a programme of study to improve our understanding of the fishery and its effects on the marine environment. Research techniques include the collection of fishery catch data, catch sampling and the development of a PhD.  

In developing this approach the Authority has demonstrated its commitment to delivering an evidence-led approach to managing a sustainable fishery for live wrasse in the district. Through our ongoing compliance and enforcement strategy and in collaboration with colleagues in the Marine Management Organisation and CEFAS, we will continue to monitor the success of these measures. 

Please click here to view the 
Wrasse Fishery Guidance

20 June 2017,
Two Portsmouth Fishermen Found Guilty for Obstructing Fisheries Officers

Two Portsmouth Fishermen, fishing in Southampton Water, have been found guilty of obstructing Fisheries Officers and ordered to pay fines and costs.

The case was brought by the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA).

Appearing before the Southampton Magistrates Court on the 5th June 2017, Mr Kevin Smith, 53, and Mr Aston Stallard, 24, both from the Portsmouth area, were found guilty of obstructing Fisheries Officers, contrary to the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.

At the trial, the Magistrates heard that on 30th August 2016, in the Ashlett Creek area of Southampton Water, Mr Smith positioned his fishing vessel, Phantom P300, so as to obstruct Fisheries Officers and how his crewmember Mr Stallard discarded the vessels catch over the side of the vessel before it could be inspected.

Fisheries Officers of the Southern IFCA regularly patrol Southampton Water and the Solent to ensure that closed areas are protected and that fishermen adhere to the minimum sizes of fish and shellfish. The obstruction of Fisheries Officers and failure to comply with their requests is an offence.

Commenting on the case, IFCA Deputy Chief Officer, Neil Richardson said, "Minimum size legislation is an essential management tool to ensure that there is enough stock left on the grounds to support the fishery and the fishermen in the region who rely on them. Southern IFCA is committed to protecting the fishery to ensure healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and a viable industry. This type of illegal activity and the behaviour of these individuals will not be tolerated and we will pursue such matters robustly through court".

Robert Clark, Chief Officer for Southern IFCA, said, "the protection of the future stocks is in everyone's interest. We aim to ensure that the actions of a few individuals do not jeopardise sustainable fisheries and the communitites they support".

Mr Kevin Smith was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £5,195 and Mr Aston Stallard was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £5,195.

Any information relating to illegal fishing activity can be reported to the Authority in confidence on 01202 721373.

May 2017,
Reporting Suspicious Activity

Southern IFCA (SIFCA) utilises a risk based approach to prioritise its compliance and enforcement activities and intelligence that is collated from a variety of sources that reflect current issues ‘on the ground’ that together maximise the efficient use of resources and help to reduce crime.
As the additional ‘eyes and ears’ of law enforcement, you can report suspected illegal fishing activity within the District by contacting SIFCA on 01202 721373 or by sending an email to   Our Fisheries Officers will be pleased to assist with clarification of the rules and follow up on reports of suspicious activity.
Details of the local rules and regulations can be found on our website   Other national regulations also apply, for example, the current bass nursery area legislation that can be found here
Fishing rules are often complicated and this reflects the differing management needs of the areas to which they apply. For example some forms of netting traditionally take place close to the shore and are perfectly legitimate.
Although we encourage the reporting of illegal activity, members of the public ashore (or in boats) in the interest of safety should not put themselves or others at risk or harass commercial fishermen engaged in fishing and if in doubt give us a call for clarification.    
Robert Clark
Chief Executive 

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