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Fishing (incl. shellfisheries)

This category covers the following activities: anchored nets/lines, electrofishing, traps, pelagic fishing (or fishing activities that do not interact with sea bed), hydraulic dredges, dredges, demersal trawl, demersal seines, diving and sea angling.

Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs)

IFCAs are a competent authority for the management of fishing activities within the inshore (0-6nm) area and, as such, must take the necessary steps to ensure that the conservation objectives of MPAs are furthered. Sections 153 and 154 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act, 2009, outline the responsibilities of IFCAs in managing fishing activities and MPAs. Each IFCA has the ability to introduce byelaws for the management of fishing activities within the inshore (0-6nm) area and, as such, must take the necessary steps to ensure that the conservation objectives of MPAs are furthered. The MMO is the lead regulator for fishing in MPAs between 6 and 12 nautical miles offshore. 

Following the assessment of fisheries activities and their potential impacts on protected habitats and species, Southern IFCA have introduced local legislation, in the form of byelaws, to ensure habitats and species are protected from any damage or deterioration. There are already a number of pieces of existing legislation which afford some layer of protection to a number of MPA features. They have also produced a summary of the current management, designed to protect MPAs from potentially damaging fishing activities, which is outlined for each site in the Marine Protected Area Strategic Management Table

Examples are given below for the management measures in place for the Solent Maritime SAC:

Southern IFCA's European Marine Site Habitats Regulations Assessments are also available to view for the SEMS sites.

Sussex IFCA

Five EMS are partly or fully encompassed within the Sussex IFCA district including the Solent Maritime SAC and Chichester and Langstone Harbours SPA. 

Sea Angling

Research led by Centre for Environment, fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and Substance provides estimates of the numbers of sea anglers, participation rates, catches and economic impact across the UK in 2016 and 2017. Over a two-year period more than 1,500 sea anglers from across the UK worked with scientists and researchers to keep diaries of what they caught on all their sea angling trips and how much they spent on the sport. In addition, 12,000 residents were surveyed, helping to develop a detailed picture of the UK’s sea angling preferences. 

Around 800,000 or 1.6% of UK adults went sea angling at least once each year, fishing for a total of 7 million days. On average, anglers spent over £1,000 per year on their sport, resulting in a total economic impact of sea angling of between 1.5 and 2 billion pounds. This provided around £350 million of Gross Value Added (GVA) and supported around 15,000 jobs when indirect effects are included.

Over 100 fish species were caught from the most common - cod, bass, dab, whiting and mackerel - to the rare – twaite shad; and from the smallest - tompot blenny – to the large pelagic fish - blue shark. The most caught species were whiting, mackerel, dogfish, bass, cod, pollack, dab and bib.

The Sea Angling Diary Project is ongoing and open to anyone who fishes in the sea in the UK to join. Sea anglers get a free mobile app, fish ID booklet and online dashboard and reports of their activity. Anglers can sign up at