Potting Effort Management Consultation
For several years now NEIFCA have been considering a range of options to strengthen the management of potting effort within the district between North East Lincolnshire and South Tyneside and seaward to six nautical miles. The need to develop and implement an effort management scheme, however, has never been more important than it is currently to conserve and enhance stocks which are considered to be under increasing pressures not just from fishing but other external factors such as global warming and the increasing number of development works in the marine sector.
At this stage NEIFCA are informally seeking your views on an outline plan to establish a new management regime which will better control the levels of potting effort currently observed within the fishery. The key elements of that plan are summarised as follows:
- Potting effort will be managed through a restricted flexible permit system with the number of permits offered, capped at current levels, circa 200.
- The number of pots initially allocated would be based on track record information held by NEIFCA, with vessels allocated a number of pots up to a maximum of 800 per vessel within the NEIFCA district.
- All vessel operators would have the option to appeal their initial allocation and also apply for more pots if their associated businesses develop going forward, up to the maximum allocation of 800.
- There would be a mandatory requirement for all vessel operators to declare the number of fleets and the number of pots per fleet as per their allocation.
- All surface markers must be clearly visible, marked with PLN and associated fleet number.
- Each end of the fleet would carry two mandatory tags that could be inspected at sea.
- If a permitted vessel is sold the permit must be surrendered back to NEIFCA with some types of transfer permitted such as within family or consideration of replacement vessel.
- In line with other NEIFCA permitting schemes including dredging, trawling and fixed netting, a charge would be levied to support the administration and management of the scheme. To Be Confirmed.
- Any new vessels entering the fishery would be required to apply for a permit and if successful would be given a pot allocation in line with the vessel type/category. Again, the applicant could appeal the initial allocation.
- If no permits are available, the applicant would enter a ‘waiting list’ system.
- The potting effort management provisions would be just one component of a much larger shellfish management regulation which would include all current management measures.
- All provisions would be attached to the permit as mandatory conditions within a flexible framework that would enable future change if required.
- The byelaw would set out the process of appeals, ‘waiting list’ system and how any future change would be consulted, agreed and implemented.
At this stage NEIFCA would like to capture as many views as possible on the above proposals.
Only views submitted either through the Authority’s website, via email or written will be considered as part of the consultation.
Please ensure that all comments are submitted by 5pm on Wednesday 31 August 2022.