Do you catch shellfish, use pots or tow fishing gear?
If so changes to the byelaws in the south west may affect you.
The Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (D&SIFCA) has identified the need for new byelaws relating to potting and shellfish permitting, and to the towing of fishing gear by a vessel.
The Authority started the pre-consultation process on 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.
D&SIFCA reports that potting and catching shellfish, and the operation of towed fishing gear are very important commercial activities in their District.
They see it as important therefore that the Authority is able to manage the activities to avoid adverse impacts on fish and shellfish stocks and the wider marine environment.
Netting and other fishing activity byelaws will be considered later in the process but will follow the same consultation process.
D&SIFCA wants community views
All byelaws have to be accompanied by an Impact Assessment (IA), to set out the anticipated costs and benefits of the proposed measure.
Views expressed by the local community will help inform the Impact Assessment.
D&SIFCA stress that 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 Devon and Severn IFCA website.
Feedback on the shellfish and potting byelaw are required by 31 March 2013.
Devon & Severn IFCA
D&SIFCA is required by the Marine and Coastal Access Act to review the byelaws they inherited by 2015, and this marks the start of that 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.
Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (D&SIFCA).
What are IFCAs?
IFCAs are either committees or joint committees of the local authorities that fall within an IFC district. They are tasked with the sustainable management of inshore sea fisheries resources in their local area. Read more on the Dept. for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs website.
Image: Dan Bolt www.underwaterpics.co.uk