NIFCA are pleased to announce the release of our new Recreational Sea Angling Strategy. We are also keen to hear from you about how you think Sea Angling engagement can be improved in this district and ask all interested parties to please take part in our Call for Information.
Details of the Strategy and our Call for Information can be found HERE
On the 8th of April 2021 Mr James Arkle of Pegswood, Northumberland pled guilty to two breaches of fisheries legislation relating to the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 and the Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (NIFCA) byelaws. Mr Arkle was sentenced on the 15th of July at Newcastle Magistrates Court.
The case was brought against Mr Arkle by NIFCA, who manage the inshore fishery along the Northumberland and North Tyneside coastline.
Andrew Oliver of Andrew Jackson Solicitors, prosecuting on behalf of NIFCA, informed District Judge Griffiths that on the 26th of February Mr Arkle, an experienced commercial fisherman, had been observed (by officers on patrol) working shellfish pots from the West Pier of Blyth Harbour without the required recreational shellfish permit issued from NIFCA. When challenged by fisheries officers Mr Arkle ran from the scene, chest deep into the sea in an attempt to dispose of the illegally caught shellfish he later admitted to catching.
Mr Arkle committed two offences, “failing to comply with a requirement reasonably made, or a direction reasonably given, by an enforcement officer contrary to Section 292 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009” and “fishing for specified shellfish otherwise than in accordance with a recreational permit issued by the Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority contrary to NIFCA Byelaw 4 “Crustacea and Molluscs Permitting and Pot Limitation”.”
Mr Arkle who was represented by Denise Jackman of Watson Woodhouse solicitors did not attend his sentencing. After considering Mr Arkle’s fishing experience and familiarity with fisheries legislation, early guilty plea and that he is no longer a commercial fisherman, District Judge Griffiths ruled he should be fined £262 and ordered to pay costs to the sum of £1500 and a £26.20 victim surcharge.
NIFCA Chief Executive Mike Hardy said “The Authority is pleased that the court recognises the importance of the national fisheries legislation that our officers rely on to do their important work, as well as the Authority byelaws that are essential for protecting commercially sensitive stocks in our district. Northumberland IFCA will not tolerate non-compliance towards its officers work and will take appropriate legal action regarding any individual who does not comply. Fishing for shellfish in Northumberland is vitally important to commercial fishers who currently have well documented and publicised pressures on their industry. Fishing is also a source of great enjoyment for responsible recreational gatherers. The fishery requires sensitive administration and our Byelaws balance the social, environmental and economic needs of our stakeholders to promote healthy seas, sustainable fishing and a viable industry.”
The NIFCA Quarterly Meeting will now be held at:
Defra, Lion House
The above address replaces the previous venue, the Newbiggin Maritime Centre but the date and time of the meeting on Monday 26th July at 2pm remain the same.
Agenda items include:
– IFCO Reports (Chief IFCO, Environmental IFCOs)
– District Reports
– Vessels Maintenance Report
– Updates on byelaws and recreational activity in the district
The MMO are now seeking new voluntary IFCA members for many positions around the coast, including here in Northumberland. This is an exciting opportunity to help manage inshore fisheries and conservation and shape our local coastline management. For more details of how to apply, please click HERE.
Please see HERE a link to the Maritime Coastguard Agency’s (MCA) notice to all commercial fishing vessel owners, employers, managing agents, skippers and crew.
This document is intended to help vessel owners, skippers and fishing company managers to: