Public Notice (Eastern IFCA): Wash Cockle and Mussel Byelaw 2021

EASTERN INSHORE FISHERIES AND CONSERVATION AUTHORITY (IFCA)

Section 155 & 156 Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

Section 155 & 156 Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

Pursuant to the above Act, Eastern IFCA intends to apply to the Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for the confirmation of the Wash Cockle and Mussel Byelaw 2021.

The intention of the byelaw is to replace the Wash Fishery Order 1992 to manage the cockle and mussel fisheries in The Wash in accordance with the associated fisheries management plans, to ensure sustainable fisheries which do not impact on the marine protected areas of The Wash and support a viable industry.

The byelaw applies to cockle and mussel fisheries in The Wash and includes the following provisions:

  • Requirement to have a permit to fish including a permit fee.
  • Ability for the Authority to limit and manage access to the fisheries, including through issuing, varying, or revoking eligibility criteria.
  • Requirement for fishing gear used to be certified by the Authority.
  • Cancellation of a permit where a relevant offence results in the conviction by a court.
  • The ability for the Authority to issue, vary or revoke flexible permit conditions.
  • The ability to open and close fisheries or parts of fisheries and to set operating times for a fishery.
  • Requirement for catch returns and a prohibition on fishing where such are in arrears.
  • Amendments to the ‘Minimum Sizes Byelaw 2019’, the ‘Closed Areas Byelaw 2020’ and ‘Byelaw 3: molluscan methods of fishing’.
  • Revocation of ‘Byelaw 4: mussels (Mytilus edulis) – minimum size’
  • Requirement for the Authority to undertake consultation and to consider the impacts of issuing, varying, or revoking flexible management measures.
  • Other technical measures including: a vessel length restriction, daily catch restrictions, mussel dredge restrictions, a requirement to replace catch rejected through sorting, prohibition on transhipping, a requirement to land cockles, a dual fishing prohibition, requirement to use bags of a specified dimension to store catch, requirements on the practice of ‘prop-washing’ and a restriction on carrying or towing vessel tenders.
  • The byelaw includes an exemption in relation to limited removal for personal consumption and in relation to the le Strange Estate.

The full text of the byelaw, associated impact assessment and further information can be inspected at, or obtained from:

Eastern IFCA: 6 North Lynn Business Village, Bergen Way, King’s Lynn, PE30 2JG. Tel: 01553 775321; email: mail@eastern-ifca.gov.uk; website: www.eastern-ifca.gov.uk.

Any person wishing to comment, support or object to the byelaw must do so in writing before 12pm on the 3rd of May 2021, to the CEO of Eastern IFCA at the above address and send a copy to:Marine Conservation and Enforcement Team, Marine Management Organisation, Lancaster House, Hampshire Court, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE4 7HY,

Email: IFCAbyelaws@marinemanagement.org.uk

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