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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. Commercial angling from powered vessels is licensed by the MMO and does not come under SEMS which focuses on non licensable activities like recreational angling. There is a low level of licensed commercial angling activity in the Solent targeting bass, mackeral and a few other species. 

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.  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. 

Southern IFCA

The three main types of MPA, which Southern IFCA manage fishing activities in, are Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs), Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs).  Established under different legislation, each have their own set of conservation objectives and protect different species and habitats. SIFCA have produced a summary of the current management, designed to protect MPAs from potentially damaging fishing activities, which is outlined in their conservation pages. There is a full list of Regulations on the SIFCA website.

Sussex IFCA

The Authority has a marine district of approximately 500 square nautical miles containing unique combinations of marine species and habitats, which in turn support significant commercial and recreational fisheries. The district has over 30 charter boat operators in its ports and harbours and numerous tackle shops along the coast to support the angler and their needs.

Five EMS are partly or fully encompassed within the Sussex IFCA district including the Solent Maritime SAC and Chichester and Langstone Harbours SPA. A full list of Sussex IFCA byelaws including those to manage MPAs are available on their website.

IFCA Management of Marine Protected Areas in the Solent

Fisheries MPA Management

Recreational Angling

Cefas research shows that recreational Sea Fishing (RSF) is a popular activity with the potential to significantly impact fish stocks. Studies have shown that RSF contributes to removals from the overall stock, ranging from 2% to 43%. This wide range emphasises the need for accurate data collection and monitoring of RSF activities to ensure sustainable management of fish populations. In the United Kingdom, RSF is currently an unlicensed activity, meaning there is no comprehensive record of the number of individuals participating in the activity. This lack of information presents a challenge when it comes to assessing the impact of RSF on fish stocks and implementing effective management measures. There are however a number of projects, campaigns and studies underway:

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

Sussex IFCA provides Recreational Sea Angling Information on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).