2017 News Archive

Posted on 1st January 2017

This is an archive of all news items published in the 2017 calendar year

 

January 2017: Consultation opens for Whitsand and Looe Bay MCZ (Fishing Restrictions) Byelaw 2017

THIS CONSULTATION HAS CLOSED

Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 
 
Whitsand and Looe Bay Marine Conservation Zone (Fishing Restrictions) Byelaw 2017 
 
Notice is hereby given:  Cornwall Inshore Fisheries and  Conservation Authority (IFCA) intends to apply to the Minister for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for the confirmation of the Whitsand and Looe Bay Marine Conservation Zone (Fishing Restrictions) Byelaw 2017.
 
Byelaw:  This byelaw  has been proposed to protect features of the Whitsand and Looe Bay MCZ by prohibiting the use of bottom towed gear throughout the zone.
 
Click here for more information on Whitsand and Looe Bay Marine Conservation Zone 

A full text of the above Byelaw can be inspected at, or obtained from Cornwall IFCA, Chi Gallos, Hayle Marine Renewables Business Park, North Quay, Hayle, TR27 4DD.  Copies can be requested in person, by letter or by phone.  
 
Any person wishing to object to or comment on the above byelaw must make representations in writing, within 28 days of the first publication of this notice on Thursday 12 January 2017, to both the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and Cornwall IFCA at the following addresses:
 
MMO : Marine Conservation and Enforcement Team, Marine Management Organisation, Lancaster House, Hampshire Court, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE4 7YH
or, ifcabyelaws@marinemanagement.org.uk 
 
Cornwall IFCA: Chi Gallos, Hayle Marine Renewables Business Park, North Quay, Hayle, TR27 4DD
or, enquiries@cornwall-ifca.gov.uk

 

January 2017: New restrictions on bass fishing


The European Union has now published the Official Journal for fishing opportunities in 2017.

Click here to view the Official Journal

Within this document Article 9 (page 11) states the new regulation on fishing for bass.
(please note there may be  other restrictions outside of our district)

For Commercial fisheries

Only those vessels with a proven track record will be authorised to retain bass . 

The MMO will write to those licensees who are authorised. If you do not have authorisation you must return any bass to sea immediately.   

If you have any questions on this process please contact your MMO administrative office. 

MMO Hayle:01736 362805
MMO Plymouth: 01752 228001
MMO Brixham: 01803 853383 

Subject to the authorisation the following are the only permissible gear types (please note the further restrictions).  
Fixed Gillnets :  May retain up to 250kg of bass per month as an unavoidable bycatch when targeting other species.
Hooks and Lines: May retain up to 10 tonnes of bass during period 1 January 2017- 31 December 2017. However it is prohibited to catch and retain bass with hooks and lines in February and March.
Demersal trawls and seines: may retain up to 3% of the total weight of marine organisms retained on-board per day as an unavoidable bycatch, up to a maximum of 400kg per month.
You may only use one authorised fishing gear per trip when retaining bass on board.
Please note, commercial fishing (including angling) for bass from the shore shall not be allowed in 2017. 

Click here to see guidance from the MMO

For Recreational fisheries 

From 1 January to 30 June 2017 
Catch and release only
 
From 1 July to 31 December 2017 
One bass per fisherman per day
 
If you think you may be affected by these new regulations and would like to clarify anything please contact us to speak to one of our fishery officers. 
 

February 2017: Public meetings


Public drop in meetings to discuss proposed new inshore netting byelaw. 
 
21 March – Padstow: National Lobster Hatchery (PL28 8BL)– 14:00-20:00
23 March – Penzance: St Johns Hall (Mayors Parlour)  (TR18 2QZ) – 14:00 -20:00
28 March – Mevagissey: Social Club (PL26 6UH)  – 14:00 -20:00
4 April – Falmouth Watersports Centre (TR11 4AU)  – 15:00-19:00
 MEETING CANCELLED 

 
Cornwall IFCA is holding a series of public drop-in sessions to talk about a proposed new byelaw to manage inshore netting around parts of the Cornish coast.

It is focused on the historic byelaws which were designed to  protect  migrating salmon by restricting the use of fixed nets.
 
This is your opportunity to look at the proposed legislation and to raise any comments or concerns, you may have.

If you have a particular interest, or are directly involved in commercial netting around the coast we need to hear from you.

All are welcome and there is no need to book a place please just turn up for an informal chat with one of the officers who will be available at the above venues.
 
Please contact us for more information. 
 

February 2017: MCA prosecuition leads to jail 

The owner of a fishing vessel has been sentenced to a total of 12 months for fishing safety offences and a 3 months suspended sentence for fisheries offences activated.
Shane Barton (42) was sentenced by Plymouth Crown Court on Friday (17 th  February) after pleading guilty to a number of offences under maritime safety laws.

The owner of a fishing vessel has been sentenced to a total of 12 months for fishing safety offences and a 3 months suspended sentence for fisheries offences activated.
Shane Barton (42) was sentenced by Plymouth Crown Court on Friday (17 th  February) after pleading guilty to a number of offences under maritime safety laws.

The MCA investigation was greatly assisted by the following agencies: Southern IFCA, Devon & Severn IFCA, Cornwall IFCA, Marine Management Organisation, Environment Agency, Dorset Police and Devon & Cornwall Police.

 

March 2017: Successful prosecution of scalloping vessel


On Friday 3 March 2017, at Bodmin Magistrates Court, Cornwall IFCA successfully prosecuted the skipper and owner of the fishing vessel Rejoice BH220 for one offence of fishing contrary to the  Scallop Dredge (Limited Fishing Time) Byelaw.  The skipper, Carl Brian Snell (31) of Belfield Road, Paignton represented himself at court where he pleaded not guilty to the charge. The owner, V J Glover Limited of Bampton Devon, had pleaded guilty in December 2016 at the first opportunity. Magistrates found both the defendants guilty and described Mr Snell’s reasons for being found, with his dredges in the water at a time when this is prohibited as “entirely implausible”. They handed down fines and costs totalling £11,948. The skipper did not return to court after the recess for consideration of his sentence and therefore was sentenced in his absence.
 
On the 11 of August 2016 at 19:50 hours the scallop dredger Rejoice BH220, owned by V J Glover Limited and skippered by Mr Carl Brian Snell, was suspected of dredging for scallops in the Cornwall IFCA district at a prohibited time of day.  A boarding team was launched form the Cornwall IFCA patrol vessel Saint Piran to intercept the Rejoice, approximately 5 nautical miles south east of Dodman Point. When the team approached they could see the vessel had its dredges in the water, and a large quantity of scallops was found on-board. When asked as to why he was found with his dredges in the water inside the district at a time when this is prohibited the skipper claimed that he was having engine problems and had needed to complete an oil change, and that he couldn’t raise his dredges without power. When asked, under caution, where the waste oil and filters were, MR Snell claimed to have dumped them overboard, however he couldn’t explain why there was no sign of any waste oil either in the water, or on board his vessel.  It was this story of engine failure that the magistrates found to be “entirely implausible”.
 
It is an offence to fish for scallops between 19:00hrs and 07:00hrs in the Cornwall IFCA District under the Scallop Dredge (Limited Fishing Time) Bylaw, commonly known as the curfew hours byelaw. This bylaw is a conservation measure intended to limit effort on this valuable fishery. Scallops are an important target species for many fishermen working within the Cornwall IFCA district and there are many local, national and EU regulations for their conservation.
 
Mr Snell was aware of the legislation, having been previously boarded by Cornwall IFCA officers and presented with an information pack covering all the regulations for scallop fishing in the district. Under caution he confirmed that he knew that it was an offence to fish for scallops between 19:00hrs and 07:00hrs inside the district.
 
Cornwall IFCA Principal Enforcement Officer Simon Cadman said “Scallop dredging has for many years been the highest enforcement risk in the Cornwall IFCA district. Therefore we make considerable efforts to identify illegal activities, hoping that successful prosecutions such as this one will dissuade those looking to profit from breaking the rules. It is in everyone’s interests that scallop dredging is carried out sustainably and limiting dredging effort is an essential element to ensure this happens.” 
 

March 2017: Marine Planning drop in session

Public event

Monday 20 March 2017 - 5pm-7pm
National Maritime
Museum Cornwall, Falmouth

Come along to find out how marine planning will shape the south west marine environment over the next 20 years. 

March 2017: Defra consultation on proposal to ban the landing of egg-bearing (also known as ‘berried’) lobsters and crawfish in England

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs would like to know your thoughts on proposals to introduce a national ban on landing egg-bearing lobsters and crawfish in England. Defra particularly want to hear from fishing vessel owners and fishing licence/ shellfish entitlement holders.

The consultation will run from 21 March 2017 to 15 May 2017.

Please note it is already an offence to remove berried lobsters and crawfish from the Cornwall IFCA district under the Berried Lobsters & Crawfish byelaw .

 

April 2017: The Manacles Marine Conservation Zone (Fishing Restrictions) Byelaw 2017


In December 2016 Cornwall IFCA announced that it was applying to the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for confirmation of this new byelaw intended to protect the Manacles MCZ from damage by bottom towed gear.

This byelaw has now been signed and is law. You can view a copy of this byelaw on our  Regulations/Byelaws
 page.

It is now an offence to use, or to have any part of bottom towed gear below the surface of the sea within the Manacles Marine Conservation Zone.

April 2017: Netting restrictions in the Camel and Fowey
The  SW1 Prohibition Of Nets (Applied in the River Camel and River Fowey)  byelaw will be coming into effect from the 1 st of May.

This long standing byelaw prohibits the use of nets between May and December (inclusive) for taking fish in tidal waters in the River Camel and the River Fowey

Please note that Cornwall IFCA currently has the River and Estuarine Fishing Nets Byelaw  2017 under consideration by Defra. If it is confirmed, this byelaw will have considerable impact on netting in all Cornish rivers.  Please keep checking this website and our Facebook page for regular updates.
 

May 2017: Change of Authority meeting date


The date of the June Authority meeting has changed to Friday 30 June 2017.

The meeting was due to be held on 16 June 2017 and has been moved to Friday 30 June 2017.  

The meeting date has been changed to ensure that any reports which may not be able to be considered during the purdah period will be able to be published and decisions made by the Committee at the meeting.
 

June 2017: Public consultation on changes to the regulations under the Fal Fishery Order.

Regulations made under the Fal Fishery Order 2016
Cornwall Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority is proposing changes to the Regulations made under the Fal Fishery Order 2016.

Updating the Regulations would provide that:
Licenced Fal fishermen operating in the Fal Fishery Area may take Pacific Oysters (Crassostrea gigas),  small scallop species (Chlamys spp.) and any  species of mussel (Mytilus spp.) from the Fal Fishery Area using the traditional fishing methods and vessels for taking native oysters and mussels; and
The Authority may authorise fisheries management and development activities, including scientific work, within the Fal Fishery Area.  This may be for itself or for other organisations and individuals, subject to an appropriate assessment of the activity.

Background
Fal fishermen have dredged and hand-gathered native oysters and mussels for many decades, but in recent years have found that the numbers of Pacific oysters and small scallop species, locally known as queenies, are such that they have potential to be of significant value as commercial catches.  As the small scallop species exist on grounds which also hold native oysters, they are often dredged up alongside the oysters, with no need to adapt the dredging operation, which is conducted solely by the traditional vessels that may only use sail or oars for propulsion when dredging.

The current Regulations were designed around the exploitation of oysters and mussels and have restricted bycatches of other shellfish species to 20% of the landed catch.  This prevents full exploitation of Pacific oysters and small scallop species; species which left alone could impact on native oyster and mussel populations.  Greater catches of Pacific oysters and queenies would assist the overall commercial fishing viability for Fal fishermen.  Using traditional fishing methods, it is considered that increases in the catches of such shellfish would have little effect on other flora and fauna within the Fal, including designated features listed under the Fal and Helford Special Area of Conservation.

In respect of mussels, the current Regulations are specific to fishing for Mytilus edulis.  However, other mussel species are also present, most notably Mytilus galloprovincialis, as well as hybrids, which are very difficult for fishermen to separate out from catches.  The Authority believes it would be better to manage all mussel species uniformly, removing an identification problem and a subsequent enforcement issue.

The ability for the Authority to authorise management and development activities is an important measure to reduce bureaucracy and the time taken for decision making.  This would be consistent with the process which is currently undertaken by the Authority for dispensations against Cornwall IFCA byelaws. The current position under the Fal Fishery Order 2016 requires a decision by the Secretary of State.  There is no identified need for this involvement in a local matter, where the Authority is the holder of relevant fishery information which is needed to make an appropriate decision. 
 
On 17 March 2017, Cornwall IFCA considered the proposed changes to the Regulations and recommended that they were made.  
 

On 13 June 2017, the Fal Fisheries Management Committee considered the proposed changes to the Regulations and decided that they were appropriate to more recently identified fishing and fishery management needs. 
 
Notification of interested parties
This news item, and a letter whcih has been sent to interested parties serves as formal notification of Cornwall IFCA’s intention to make Regulations, as set out in the enclosed document entitled “Regulations under the Fal Fishery Order 2016”.



If you wish to make a representation to Cornwall IFCA about any matter within the proposed Regulations, please write or email  the Authority by 19 July 2017.  Any representation made to the Authority will be taken into account before the Authority seeks consent of the Secretary of State for new Regulations under the Fal Fishery Order 2016.
 

June 2017: Recreational Sea Angling Survey


Have your say!

Cornwall IFCA is running a survey to improve our understanding of recreational sea angling in Cornwall. The survey will help us to gather data on Cornish angers, anglers who visit Cornwall and most importantly what anglers feel are the key issues facing them and what we could do to deal with these issues.

The survey is anonymous and very quick to complete.

Please share this survey with anybody you feel may be interested. This survey will be open from the 1 July to the 1 September 2017. 
 

August 2017: Vacancies

Cornwall IFCA Member
Application proccess now closed

New opportunities to influence management of England’s inshore fisheries

Cornwall IFCA Committee vacancy
People interested in influencing the management of inshore fisheries around Cornwall are being encouraged to apply to join the region's inshore fisheries and conservation authority (IFCA).

THe recruitment process is managed by the Marine Management Organisation. 

The IFCAs need members who will take a balanced approach to caring for the seas, assessing the priority and importance of all users and stakeholders. These vacancies are an opportunity for someone who wants to improve the quality of the inshore seas of Cornwall. 

The deadline for applications is 18 September 2017.

The roles are on a voluntary basis although relevant expenses may be reimbursed. 

 For more information and how to apply, visit  www.gov.uk/government/news/exciting-opportunity-to-manage-inshore-fisheries-and-conservation
 
September 2017: Bluefin tuna guidence

The recent appearance of bluefin tuna around the coast of England and Wales had led to a lot of public interest in the rules applied to fishing for this species.  

The Marine Management Organisation has released guidance for both recreational and commercial fishermen which can be found here.

https://marinedevelopments.blog.gov.uk/2017/09/04/bluefin-tuna-in-uk-waters/ 

September 2017: Cornwall IFCA live wrasse fishery guidence

Over the last two years a new fishery for live wrasse has emerged in Cornwall. The wrasse, which are exported live to Scotland, are used as cleaner fish to manage sea-lice in salmon farms. Sea-lice infestation on salmon reared in sea cages is a worldwide problem which has traditionally been managed with organophosphorus pesticides. An alternative solution has been to introduce other species of sea fish into salmon cages to pick off and feed on the sea-lice that are attached to salmon scales.

We are aware that there has been considerable interest in and concerns raised about this new fishery. Currently in Cornwall there is a very limited number of small vessels actively engaged in this emerging fishery. Cornwall IFCA has been working closely with Southern IFCA and Devon and Severn IFCA, as well with the fishermen, the buyers and the salmon farm operators who are the eventual customers for these fish. Over the past 18 months Cornwall IFCA has undertaken a considerable programme of research into this fishery. A report on the first year’s research will be presented to the December Authority meeting of Cornwall IFCA, with recommendations for the development of management options in the very near future.  

In the interim Cornwall IFCA has agreed the following guidance for the commercial exploitation of live wrasse.  This guidance is a voluntary code agreed with the industry and forms the first step towards managing this fishery.  As the process for developing management options progresses, there will be a wider programme of informal consultation with all stakeholders interested in this fishery and these species. 


October 2017: New national legislation to protect berried lobsters

The UK government has changed the law regarding the landing of berried lobsters and crawfish in England. 

From 1 October 2017 UK registered vessels must not fish for berried lobsters (Homarus gammarus) or crawfish (Palinurus elephas and Palinurus mauritanicus) from within English waters.

UK registered vessels must not land berried lobsters or crawfish into an English port regardless of where caught.

Any berried lobsters or crawfish which are brought on board a vessel within English waters should be returned to the sea immediately.

Please note it is already an offence to remove a berried lobster or crawfish from the fishery inside the Cornwall IFCA district. This new legislation extends similar protection to all English waters. 
 

October 17: Fisherman fined for failing to declare catch

On Wednesday 18 October 2017, at Truro Magistrates Court, Cornwall IFCA successfully prosecuted Mr Samuel Jago (50) of Market Street, Kingsand near Torpoint, the master and owner of the fishing vessel Bosloe (PH222) for failing to meet the conditions of a fishing permit, issued under a Cornwall IFCA byelaw.
 
Mr Jago had not submitted any monthly statistical returns for four months, despite concerted attempts by Cornwall IFCA to resolve the situation.  Mr Jago pleaded guilty to four offences of failing to send in his figures, which resulted in Magistrates handing down a fine of £1700, a costs award to Cornwall IFCA of £2500 and a victim surcharge of £170.
 
Crab and lobster fisheries off the coast of Cornwall are vitally important and must be carefully managed by Cornwall IFCA.  Part of this management involves a requirement for fishermen to submit monthly forms detailing their fishing effort (how much they fished) and details of what they caught.  This information is vital for Cornwall IFCA to effectively monitor shellfish fisheries and will play an important part of the management of these fisheries.
 
Cornwall IFCA makes every effort to work with its permit holders and help them to send in their returns on time.  Text message reminders to fishermen and allowing electronic methods to complete and send in returns have recently been introduced to make it easier for fishermen.   
 
The costs of chasing late returns are significant and court proceedings against a permit holder are the final option when they persistently refuse to provide the necessary important information.
 
In the case of Mr Jago, Cornwall IFCA officers made every effort to contact him by phone and in writing, but all were ignored, as were two invitations to explore the situation by interviewing him.  Cornwall IFCA offered Mr Jago the opportunity to accept a caution for his offences, but when he failed to respond to that, it left Cornwall IFCA with no option but to prosecute.
 
Cornwall IFCA Principal Enforcement Officer Simon Cadman said “The sustainability of our crab and lobster fisheries are vitally important.  For them to be managed effectively, it is essential that fishermen provide the Authority with statutory monthly returns which show their fishing effort and the amount of shellfish being removed from inshore fisheries.  Officers made every reasonable effort to remind Mr Jago to send in his monthly returns.  Because Mr Jago refused to follow the permit condition and did not communicate with us, our only option was to prosecute him in Court.  I hope the significant fine and costs imposed by the Court will show that failure to send in monthly returns and refusal to communicate with us is taken seriously and deter others from ending up in a similar situation.”


 

December 2017: MMO seeks 3 board members


The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) are seeking 3 new members of the MMO Board including a Chair for the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.

Applications are welcomed from any candidate who meets the essential criteria for the role. For further information please contact Holly Wainwright, Defra Public Appointments Team on 020 8415 2913or by email -publicappts@defra.gsi.gov.uk

About the Marine Management Organisation: Established in April 2010, the MMO has powers under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 and is responsible to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with a wide range of responsibilities, which include implementing plan-led marine management, licensing marine works and managing UK fishing fleet capacity and UK fisheries quotas.

The closing date for applications is noon on Tuesday 9thJanuary 2018.
To apply please visit
https://publicappointments.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/appointment/board-members-of-the-marine-management-organisation
 
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