Archive for February, 2013

Do you catch shellfish, use pots or tow fishing gear?

On 1st April 2011 Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (D&SIFCA) was fully vested under the Marine and Coastal Act 2009 (The Act).  They are required by April 2015 to review the byelaws they have inherited, and are just starting the process.

As well as requiring revision of existing byelaws, the Act allows for and sets out the provisions that can be used to create new byelaws where it has been identified that other management approaches are not appropriate.  The Act allows for the use of permits to authorise activities under a byelaw, enabling flexibility and allowing the byelaws to be adjusted more easily in response to subsequent changes in fish stocks, environmental conditions and technology.

D&SIFCA has identified the need for some new byelaws, including one relating to potting and shellfish permitting, and another to the towing of fishing gear by a vessel.  The Authority started the pre-consultation process on both of the proposed new byelaws in February 2013.  Everyone who catches shellfish or uses pots in the D&SIFCA District, or operates towed fishing gear will be affected by the new byelaws.  Potting and catching shellfish, and the operation of towed fishing gear are very important commercial activities in the D&SIFCA District, and it is important that the Authority is able to manage the activities to avoid adverse impacts on fish and shellfish stocks and the wider marine environment.

All byelaws have to be accompanied by an Impact Assessment, to set out the anticipated costs and benefits of the proposed measure.  Views expressed by the local community will help inform the Impact Assessment.  Your opinion is important and will help shape the management of local fisheries.  Further information on the background to the proposed byelaws and downloadable forms for contributing your views are available at www.devonandsevernifca.gov.uk.  If you don’t have access to the internet, please ring 01803 854648 to discuss alternative arrangements.

Mat Mander

Deputy Chief Officer

Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority

Tel: 01803 854648

Email: m.mander@devonandsevernifca.gov.uk