Scallop Dredging

Emergency dredging byelaw

Future Management of Scallop Dredging within the North Eastern IFCA District

Many of you will be aware that an emergency byelaw regulation was put in place on 2 February 2015, in accordance with Section 157 of the 2009 Marine and Coastal Access Act, to prohibit all scallop dredging within the Authority’s district. This action was taken to control a rapidly expanding fishery along the North Yorkshire coast pending further consideration of future management options.

Following the introduction of the emergency byelaw many of you have contacted the Authority to express your views on how the fishery should be managed in the future and requested regular updates. The views collected this far reflect the emotive and polarised nature of scallop dredging as a fishing method and range from total prohibition across the Authority’s area to managed limited access.

The Authority’s Executive Committee met on the 29 April 2015 to further discuss the management options available and agreed a strengthening of existing management which would permit limited access to scallop dredging within its district. This strengthened management will include the following provisions:

  • A restricted dedicated permit scheme for dredging where a maximum number of permits would be offered each year.
  • A £500 annual permit fee to be re-invested in the administration, monitoring and assessment of the fishery.
  • A requirement for dredgers to submit monthly catch and effort returns
  • A reduction in vessel qualifying criteria to 15m and 300 KW
  • A mandatory requirement that all scallop dredgers transmit accurate AIS information at all times when fishing within or transiting the Authority’s district
  • A daily closed period of 7pm to 7am for all dredging activity
  • A six month seasonal closure running inclusively between 1 May and 31 October
  • A permitted maximum of ten dredges per vessel with a maximum permitted beam length of 5 m.
  • Subject to process the Authority would retain the ability to suspend dredging permits at anytime or prohibit dredging within any part or parts of the specified area.

View the impact assessment and dredging byelaw proposal documents below:

Scallop RIA 13 April 2015 (pdf 628kb opens in new window)

NEIFCA Dredging Byelaw proposal May 2015 (pdf 184kb opens in new window)

At this stage it is important that views from all stakeholders are captured in writing to ensure that they are fully recorded and documented:

Comments and submissions can be emailed to the following address:


Comments and submissions can also be submitted by post as follows:

Chief Officer
Town Hall
Quay Road
YO16 4LP