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NW IFCA - Archive

The next scheduled Quarterly Meeting is due to take place on Friday 16th September 2016, and the TSB on 1st November 2016

13/10/16 - NOTICE to Byelaw 3 Permit Holders - Cockle Beds

Following presentation of cockle survey results (link), at the Bivalve Mollusc Working Group on Monday 10th October, an agreement was reached by all sectors at the meeting to recommend opening Pilling Sands and Leven Sands cockle beds to hand-gathering of cockles.

Officers are seeking your views on this recommendation to take to the TSB meeting on 1st November, where the Authority will decide on this recommendation.  Please email your views to [email protected] and state clearly whether you think:

A - Pilling Sands should be opened - Yes / No - plus comments

B - Leven Sands should be opened - Yes / No - plus comments


09/09/2016 - Family fishermen handed suspended sentences - 6th September 2016

01/09/2016 - Permit to Dredge Byelaw Consulation -

Thanks to those who have responded to the consultation on this proposed byelaw.

Concern has been raised that there could be an increase in dredging in the District under this byelaw.

I would like to clarify that there will be no such increase in dredging. All dredging in European Marine sites (which is the majority of the NWIFCA District) will have to be fully assessed for its potential impacts on conservation features under the EU habitats regulations.

The purpose of the byelaw is not to allow more dredging but to make sure dredging is properly regulated and all fishing using dredges is sustainable.

I look forward to your further helpful comments.

Yours faithfully

Dr Stephen Atkins


19/08/2016 -  Dredge Byelaw Consultation - click here to download the letter

26/08/2016 - South America and Perch Scar

Vessels that have successfully applied for an authorisation to dredge Perch and Black  scar will be authorised from 00:01 on Saturday 27th August 2016.

Vessels that have not yet applied for an authorisation will be provided with one on receipt of a successful application.

Please click here for HRA

17/08/2016 - Application form to dredge Fleetwood Seed Mussel

The Technical, Science and Byelaws Sub-committee of the NWIFCA has approved the opening of a seed mussel dredge fishery at Perch Scar and Black Scar, Fleetwood. The two beds cover an estimated total area of 11.2ha.

Application forms for an authorisation to dredge for seed mussel in this area can be downloaded here and must be returned to [email protected] with other relevant documentation as detailed in the form.

12/08/2016 - NOTICE - Cockle Fisheries in the NWIFCA district

Cockle surveys across the District have shown that although there are cockle beds with dense stocks, the majority of this stock has not yet reached size. Informal consultation with Byelaw 3 permit holders shows that there is support for a recommendation NOT to open the beds at the end of the Seasonal Closure, but to allow it to grow on. Science officers will re-survey the beds in September, and provide the Authority with the results. This was discussed with the Bivalve Mollusc Working Group on 8th August where all stakeholders agreed to this course of action.

Following approval by the Technical, Science and Byelaws Sub-committee meeting on 9th August NWSFC Byelaw 13a and CSFC Byelaw 18 Closures will be instigated on the cockle beds within the District from 00.01hrs on 1st September, subject to review. Any opening of the cockle beds will be subject to Habitats Regulations Assessment.

12/08/2016 - NOTICE - Seed mussel dredge fishery in North Morecambe Bay, to be extended

The seed mussel dredge fishery in North Morecambe Bay (locally known as South America and Falklands mussel beds) is to be extended from 00:01 on 14/08/2016. The original area (Area A) is 1180 hectares and was opened on 11/07/2016. The extension area (Area B) is 66.28 hectares will be open at 00:01 on 14/08/2016. Fishers wishing to fish in Area B are requested to sign and abide to the Code of Practice (CoP) which has been agreed amongst stakeholders and stakeholders interest groups, this CoP can be viewed/downloaded here.

The co-ordinates and a map of this seed mussel dredge fishery can be viewed/downloaded here.

To express an interest in prosecuting this seed mussel dredge fishery, please email [email protected] (preferred) or telephone 01524 727970 to request an application form.

04/08/2016Byelaw 3 application forms and guidance notes for the 201617 season are now available - Please click here to download

02/08/2016 - NOTICE - Seed mussel fisheries in Morecambe Bay 

Proposals are currently being developed to a) extend the existing subtidal South America and Falklands seed mussel dredge authorisation box (see South America and Falklands HRA below for information on the current fishery) and b) to open designated intertidal areas at Perch Scar and Black Scar to seed mussel dredge fishing. These proposals will be discussed in full with stakeholders and stakeholder interest groups at the BMWG meeting on Monday 8th August and at the Technical, Scientific and Byelaw (TSB) meeting on Tuesday 9th August.

To express an interest in persecuting any of these seed mussel fisheries, by dredge, or hand gathering (byelaw 3 permit holders only), please email [email protected] (preferred), telephone 01524 727970 and/or contact your BMWG or TSB representative to voice your interest at the meeting(s).

26/07/2016 - South America and Falklands HRA

Limited seed mussel dredge fishery in North Morecambe Bay (locally known as South America and Falklands mussel beds).

The full Habitats Regulation Assessment for this fishery can be viewed/downloaded by clicking here.

Supporting documentation: Applicatin form to dredge Morecambe Bay seed mussel 2016

26/07/2016NOTICE TO BYELAW 3 PERMIT HOLDERS -  Heysham Flat seed mussel fishery opening

The fishery at Heysham Flat will be opening on Monday 25th July for hand-gathering by Byelaw 3 permit holders.

The full authorisation containing details of the conditions under which this fishery must be prosecuted can be viewed/downloaded by clicking here. Fishing during daylight hours only.

Please contact Lancaster City Council regarding access arrangements.

Supporting documentation: Heysham Flat seed mussel HRA          


The Crown Estate are pleased to launch a new scheme to help protect the nation’s marine heritage by providing a way to record archaeological and historical objects found by marine users in English and Welsh waters.  For more information please click here.

13/07/2016 - Natiional Grid Surveys

13/07/2016 - MMO 'Call for Issues with supporting evidence'

Marine Management Organisation – Northwest Marine Plan

The MMO has launched a ‘Call for issues with Supporting Evidence’ for the north east, north west, south east and south west marine plan areas. The NWIFCA would strongly encourage all north east Irish Sea stakeholders to consider contributing to this call.

‘Identifying and understanding the opportunities and challenges for the marine plan areas is critical to developing meaningful and tailored marine plans. Local, specialist and industry knowledge is at the heart of this, and your contribution is essential.

The MMO would like to hear from you about what the opportunities, challenges and needs of the marine plan areas are over the next 20 years, and what supporting evidence is available’.

The call is open now and closes on Friday 5 August.

Full details are available from:



21/06/2016 - DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER - Vacancy with the NW IFCA - closing date for applications is Wednesday 20th July 2016

13/06/2016 - SIMCelt Project Officer Vacancy - Solway Firth Partnership is seeking a Project Officer on a fixed term appointment to support an EU-funded initiative


25/04/2016 - Marine plans must be based on local knowledge - we need your views

12/04/2016 - NuGen - second stage of consultation commences on Saturday 14th May 2016 - Moorside - Have your say - Statement of Community Consultation

06/04/2016 - Morecambe Bay Cockle Fishery - Press Release

              Public Information Leaflet

06/04/2016 - Leven Sands Cockle Fishery Habitats Regulations Assessment

06/04/2016 - Marine Planning beings in the North West

17/03/2016 - Leven Island Cockle Fishery - Notice to Fishermen

05/02/2016 - Natural England's formal consultation on the potential Morecambe Bay & Duddon Estuary Special Protection Area (pSPA) - commencing 21st January 2016

05/02/2016 - The MMO have recently published new summary draft site assessments for 9 MPAs 

04/02/2016 - Emergency byelaw - Restrictions on fishing for bivalve molluscan shellfish 2016 - Regulatory Impact Assessment

03/02/2016 - Bass TAC and quota regulations for 2016

01/02/2016 - Appoinment of IFCA Members 

The Marine Management organization (MMO) has announced that 2 new members will be appointed to the North Western Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (NWIFCA). Details of the application process  and criteria for the appointments can be found at:


Anyone wishing to serve on the NWIFCA is invited to apply.

20/01/2015 - MCZ announcement -  Blue belt extended to protect 8,000 square miles of UK waters as Government designates new marine conservation zones.  Press release and Map  

20/01/2016 - Bivalve Mollusc Working Group (BMWG) – Notice for Byelaw 3 Permit Holders

To date the BMWG has been focussed on a Management Plan for the mussel fisheries in Morecambe Bay. A draft Management Plan will be presented to the TSB sub-committee on 2nd February.

Work is now beginning on a Management Plan for cockles in the Bay and the question has arisen of whether Byelaw 3 permit holders wish to continue with their representatives on BMWG for cockle discussions, or whether a change is preferred. The current representation is Terry Davies, Tim Manning and Gary Pidduck.

Please could you discuss this with other permit holders and inform Mandy Knott at [email protected] of your decision by Friday 12th February 2016.

21/12/2015 - Announcement of continued DEFRA funding of IFCA's until 2020 - In response to an enquiry from David Morris (MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale), the Minister, George Eustace has announced that DEFRA funding of approximately one third of the core running costs of the ten Inshroe Fisheries and Conservation Autorities will continue until 2020.

04/12/2015 - NW IFCA Science Team's  Review of Bass Stocks in the North West and response to the announcement of proposed further Bass fishing restictions in 2016.  EC Proposed council regulation and the link to the Q & A from the EC website on the proposed measures. 

30/11/2015 - Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authorities - Conduct and operation 2010 - 2014 (March 2015)

11/11/2015 - Byelaw 30 application forms for 2016 are now available to download

10/11/2015 - Closure of Heysham Flat Seed Mussel Fishery - Revocation of Authorisation to Fish with immediate effect


The contact details for the NW IFCA can be found here


For older news please visit the News page. Specific information about shell fisheries in the district can be found on the cockle or mussel pages


The IFCA Vision is 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.


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