Defra have released the following information about the Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) designation at Berwick to St. Mary’s, in the North East of England:

MAP of the MCZ

Factsheet about the MCZ

Designation Order

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NIFCA has issued its first written warning to a fisherman for landing a berried lobster in contravention of the national Statutory Instrument, The Lobster and Crawfish (Prohibition of Fishing and Landing) (Amendment) (England) Order no. 899 of 2017. 

NIFCA Chief Executive Mike Hardy said: ‘Berried lobster conservation measures are of vital importance towards ensuring sustainable lobster stocks off the coast of Northumberland and North Tyneside. The inshore lobster fishery is the most important in our district in terms of the number of active fishers and value of stocks, and we want to ensure this remains the case.

‘Whilst the vast majority of fishers are responsible and take conservation seriously, we are warning anyone who fishes for or lands a berried lobster that it is an offence and we will take the necessary action to enforce any breaches of the legislation.

‘Our officers will work with commercial and recreational fishers to ensure compliance.’

The berried lobster prohibition is confirmed in the NIFCA Crustacea Conservation 2019 Byelaw and the national Statutory Instrument.

The district’s commercial lobster fishery had a first-point of sale value exceeding £3¼ million in 2018.

If you have any concerns regarding berried lobsters or any other aspect of the fishery, you should report them to the Authority office or an officer.

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National charity, the Fishermen’s Mission have announce they have an exciting new fundraising initiative called ‘Catch of the Day’ which is an online auction involving a range of national and local artists and celebrities who have painted a ceramic sculpture in the shape of a fish. Taking part in the auction and buying a Catch of the Day fish will help to provide the vital funds needed for the Fishermen’s Mission to help the most vulnerable, distressed and disadvantaged in our fishing communities.

Peter Dade, Port Officer for the Fishermen’s Mission working across the port of North Shields and the surrounding areas says ‘This is just an amazing project and we hope that it will raise money to support my work in the area.  We don’t have any government or lottery funding so we really do need every penny that we can.  The North Shields teamwork with all active and retired fishermen in the area and our services and 24 hour centre are really vital.  Fishing is the most dangerous peacetime occupation and accidents are common, often with life changing impacts.  We do all we can to help but we need the people of North Shields to help us.  Fishing is an important industry in this area.  If you enjoy a fish and chip supper or a delicious meal out at a fish restaurant serving locally caught fish and shellfish, then please take a look at the auction site’

The auction website is live now, coming to a close between Thursday 16th May to Sunday 19th May at 8pm and can be accessed here:

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