North Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (NEIFCA) is constituted pursuant to the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. It is one of ten authorities surrounding the coastline of England. Each Authority has the same principal statutory function, to manage the exploitation of sea fisheries resources within pre-defined areas or districts.
NEIFCA's district covers the area from the River Tyne, in the North, to a point drawn True East from `Haile Sand Fort' on the North East Lincolnshire Authority boundary, close to Humberston, on the South Bank of the Humber Estuary. The District also encompasses all estuarine areas, landward to tidal limits, occurring within the boundaries of member Local Authorities
The Authority comprises representatives from the 11 coastal Local Authorities within its area together with 14 members appointed by the Marine Management Organisation and one member appointed by each of the Marine Management Organisation, the Environment Agency and Natural England. The total membership of the Authority is 30.
Our shared vision
To assist focus on the positive delivery of the above statutory duties, IFCAs have agreed the following national vision which has been adopted by North Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority:
'To lead, champion and manage a sustainable marine environment and inshore fisheries, by successfully securing the right balance between social, environmental and economic benefits to ensure healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and a viable industry.'
The Authority is responsible for managing the exploitation of sea fisheries resources within its area of jurisdiction. This includes all animals and plants which habitually live or are cultivated in the sea. In delivering this function the Authority is required to ensure that all exploitation and development, taking place within its District, is sustainable and socio economic needs are balanced with marine environmental protection. The Authority is also required to balance the needs of all stakeholders exploiting resources within its District and further the conservation objectives of any Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs).
The above duties and responsibilities are delivered through the monitoring of activities and associated impacts on the marine environment and the development and enforcement of appropriate management measures, including local, national and European regulations.
The Authority's principal enforcement functions relate to minimum landing sizes, net and fishing gear regulations, restricted fishing areas and the protection of MCZs. Apart from the enforcement of these regulations, the Authority's main fisheries vessel, North Eastern Guardian III (NEG III), also plays a central role in monitoring the impact of offshore activities through the digital recording of sightings information, water column sampling, acoustical seabed assessment and fisheries stock assessment work.
The Authority can make Byelaws (subject to final confirmation by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) to address a wide range of local fisheries and marine environmental management issues.
Enforcement activities are carried out by the Authority's Inshore Fisheries & Conservation (IFC) Officers acting under the direction of the Authority and engaged in:
- supervision of activities ashore and at sea
- regular inspection of inshore catches and fishing equipment at all ports and harbours within the District
- visits to processing establishments etc.
In all its enforcement work, the Authority's IFC Officers co-operate closely with officers from the Marine Management Organisation and the Environment Agency through cross-warranting arrangements.
In delivery of its functions the Authority issues a number of permits for various types of fishing activities including taking shellfish species such as lobsters, crabs, whelks and cockles, using intertidal fixed nets, and trawling from a vessel.