Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (NIFCA) has appointed three new volunteer members to its board.
The organisation, which is based in Blyth, and is one of ten IFCAs around the coast of England, works to manage a sustainable marine environment and inshore fisheries, including commercial and recreational fishers, in the waters off the coast of Northumberland and North Tyneside and in rivers in the district up to the normal tidal limit.
The new members are Amelia Henderson, Paul Dent and Steven Moss.
Together, they will support the Authority in its mandate to ensure that the use of sea fisheries resources is carried out in a sustainable way and the objectives of Marine Conservation Zones are achieved.
Amelia, who lives in Blyth, is a keen recreational angler and Secretary of the Bedlington Sea Angling Club. She is passionate about preserving the natural environment and working with the local community.
Paul Dent, from Newbiggin, has been a fisherman for more than 35 years, starting out as a deck hand to his current role of skipper and boat owner. Paul has worked closely with the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and Cefas in developing more environmental and sustainable fishing practices and is former member of the RNLI.
Steven Moss is a lifelong Northumberland fisherman who owns a traditional Northumbrian Coble working from Blyth. He has also owned and skippered two large fishing trawlers and is an active member of the Anglo Scottish Fish Producers Organisation, as well as a member of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO).
Welcoming the new members, NIFCA chief executive officer Mike Hardy, said: “It is fantastic to have Amelia, Paul and Steven joining our board. I have no doubt their knowledge, interests and experience will make a positive difference to inshore fisheries management and the marine environment in Northumberland”.
NIFCA Chair Les Weller said, “I am delighted to welcome our three new members and look forward to guiding the Authority’s work with a full and balanced membership”.
The new members are volunteers appointed on behalf of NIFCA by the MMO through a formal application process. NIFCA members appointed by the MMO do not represent a specific sector but bring their expertise to Authority discussions and policy making.
They are required to act objectively and in the best interests of the inshore marine area, using their skills and knowledge to inform decisions on how their local area is managed, drawing on a mandate under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 and other government guidance. Key aims include balancing sustainability needs with the economic exploitation of sea fisheries, as well as safeguarding conservation of the broader marine environment.