IFCAs fisheries enforcement presence

07 January 2021

IFCAs fisheries enforcement presence.

The Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs) manage English marine fisheries within inshore waters to 6 nautical mile (nm) limits. IFCAs operate of fleet of specialist inshore fisheries protection vessels, crewed by Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Officers.

During the process of the UKs withdrawal from EU IFCAs have assisted national fisheries compliance and enforcement activities, supporting the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and Defra to conduct fisheries patrols in the 6-12nm sea area.

The IFCAs, working in a coordinated manner, with national colleagues, have also continued to work with the local fishing industry to improve understanding of the regulations as well as monitoring activity and providing relevant intelligence for national needs.

IFCAs continue their work with the local community to support the development and enhancement of sustainable inshore fisheries and protection of the marine environment. Through their continuing work the IFCAs presently provide vital information from the coast to aid the national authorities responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The IFCA fleet of fisheries protection vessels and teams of fisheries officers continue to provide support for national colleagues responsible for fisheries enforcement beyond the 6nm. limit.

Commenting on the collaboration Will Wright Chief Fishery and Conservation Officer from Kent and Essex IFCA said “Over the Christmas and new year period officers and IFCA patrol vessels have been operating at sea to provide protection and gathering intelligence on fishing activity in the 6-12nm area.  Our work continues on the coast to support the governments response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the protection of UK fisheries as we become an independent coastal state.

Tim Dapling Chief Fisheries and Conservation Officer from Sussex IFCA explained the Authority welcomed the opportunity to support national needs during this period of change and need. Like other many IFCA vessels, the Sussex IFCA’s patrol vessel ‘Watchful’ is specifically designed to support operations of this nature within territorial waters.

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