EMERGENCY NOTICE TO ALL OPERATORS – PROHIBITION ON BEAM TRAWLING
At a special Authority meeting held on 30 June 2023 members received a verbal presentation from the Chief Officer informing of a rapidly emergent beam trawl fishery targeting king scallop. Since January 2023 over 57 tonnes of king scallop have been reported landed from the fishery alongside an increase in the number of participating vessels.
Currently NEIFCA has no means of managing the fishery with growing concerns relating to the associated impacts on the main spawning season, the managed dredge fishery and the longer-term sustainability of the stock within the Authority’s district.
Given the unforeseen and urgent need for immediate intervention, Authority members supported an immediate intervention under emergency powers to prohibit the current use of beam trawls with NEIFCA district with the exception of those vessels permitted to work beam trawls for shrimp within the Humber Estuary.
The emergency byelaw regulation was confirmed on 17th July 2023 and prohibits the use of any beam trawl within the NEIFCA district. The byelaw also requires that any beam trawls carried onboard vessels within the NEIFCA district must be stored in such a way that they cannot be readily used. Any breach of the emergency byelaw could result in a maximum fine of £50,000 upon conviction.
The emergency byelaw does however provide for further investigations to be undertaken into the fishery through the provision of a scientific dispensation.
Applications for scientific dispensations would be welcomed from existing operators who are using beam trawls to catch king scallop from within the NEIFCA district and can demonstrate a track record of doing so between 1 May 2023 and 30 June 2023.
Appropriate conditions of operating will be placed on the scientific dispensations and vessel operators will be required to strictly adhere to those at all times.
Vessel operators wishing to apply for a scientific dispensation can download an application for here
Scientific Dispensation Application