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NW IFCA - Archive

LATEST NEWS - 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


Appointment of IFCA Members – posted 19th January 2015

The Marine Management Organisation is looking to appoint a number of members with marine experience to contribute to the work of the North Western IFCA influencing the management of inshore fisheries.

For more information and the steps involved in the application process, please click here.

Application forms can be found on Hays Executive website by clicking on the following link:


Heysham Flat Seed Mussel Fishery – 2014-15 - posted 12th January 2015

The NWIFCA now revokes the authorisation issued to Byelaw 3 permit holders to gather undersize mussel from Heysham Flat skear, with immediate effect. Natural storm impact and erosion has now scoured out the resource from the upper skear.


West of Morecambe Fisheries Fund - call for funding proposals - click here to be redirected to the News & Notices pages of this website


NW IFCA - posted 15th December 2014

The North Western Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority are looking to recruit an Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Officer, to be based at the Carnforth office.  For more information please click on the vacancies page.  The closing date for applications is the 20th January 2015.


Cumbria Wildlife Trust is advertising for a Trainee Marine and Coastal Conservation Officer. For further details click here to be redirected to the Partnership Working page


NW IFCA Biosecurity Plan - posted 9th December 2014

The North-Western IFCA has produced a Biosecurity Plan for its district, finalised in November 2014. It is intended for use by all marine stakeholders in the NWIFCA district and covers the prevention and control of the spread of marine invasive non-native species and shellfish disease. It details the current status of the area, potential threats to fisheries, and suggested measures to improve biosecurity and attempt to avoid any potentially damaging effects in the future. The plan includes reference to species that spend part of their lifecycle in freshwater and links with previously produced plans in the surrounding area to ensure biosecurity measures join up across the district. It is envisaged the plan will run until 2019 when it will be fully updated, although sections on disease and invasive species will be continually updated to reflect changes in the area.

For further information and supporting documents, please click on Science & Research near the top of this page.



Byelaw 3 application forms for the 2014/15 season are now available.   Please click here to download your application form.


Heysham Flat Seed Mussel Fishery -  posted 26th August 2014 - authorisation updated 5th December 2014

Heysham Seed mussel Fishery will open on the 26th of August 2014 to all current Byelaw 3 permit holders.
An authorisation to hand-gather seed mussel which derogates against the minimum size is provided below and applies to current Byelaw 3 permit holders only.
Fishing will be allowed during daylight hours on weekdays only. Daylight refers to 1.5 hours before sunrise and 1 hour after sunset.
Any access queries should be directed to Lancaster City Council.
All Byelaw 3 permit holders, (including support workers) must have their permits on them for inspection by NWIFCA fishery officers.
No fishing is to take place within the area bound by the demarcation lines which are in place with red and white posts. Please see the attached map for details. This is to protect the Honeycomb worm reef which occurs in this area. These are a protected species, and damaging them could lead to a fine of up to £20,000, revoking of all authorisations and closure of the fishery.
Please read the full authorisation before fishing. A detailed map of where fishing is allowed is included within.
Please refer back to this website regularly for updates on the fishery.
A new Byelaw 3 permit for 2014/2015 will be required from the 1st of September 2014. Application forms can be downloaded from the website. 
Please click here (uploaded on 5th December 2014) to download  the authorisation to hand-gather seed mussel which derogates against the minimum size - applicable to current Byelaw 3 permit holders only.


Principles for Sustainable Fisheries - adopted by the NW IFCA in September 2011 - posted 6th August 2014

Under the Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009) IFCAs must manage the exploitation of sea fisheries resources in their district (s153(1)), and in performing that duty they must seek to ensure that the exploitation is carried out in a sustainable way (s153(2)).
In order to guide the NWIFCA in preforming this duty the Authority adopted a Set of Principles for Sustainable Fisheries in September 2011. These are used as a standard intended to guide the work of the NWIFCA in managing sea fisheries resources in its District. The Principles have been adapted from those developed by the Marine Stewardship Council who used an extensive, international consultative process through which the views of stakeholders in fisheries were gathered.
The Principles reflect a recognition that a sustainable fishery should be based upon:
- The maintenance and re-establishment of healthy populations of targeted species;
- The maintenance of the integrity of ecosystems;
- The development and maintenance of effective fisheries management systems, taking into account all relevant biological, technological, economic, social, environmental and commercial aspects; and
- Compliance with relevant local and national laws and standards and international understandings and agreements.
The Principles are further designed to recognise and emphasise that management efforts are most likely to be successful in accomplishing the goals of conservation and sustainable use of marine resources when there is full co-operation among the full range of fisheries stakeholders, including those who are dependent on fishing for their food and livelihood. The NWIFCA further recognises the need to observe and respect the long-term interests of people dependent on fishing for food and livelihood to the extent that it is consistent with ecological sustainability, and also the importance of fisheries management and operations being
conducted in a manner consistent with established local, national, and international rules and standards. The full set of Sustainability principles can be found by clicking here 
Byelaw 3 application forms for the 2014/15 season are now available.   Please click here to download your application form.


PRESS RELEASE - NW IFCA byelaw no: 3 - Section 21 - requirement to complete monthly catch returns

From the 1st July 2014, it will be a requirement under Section 21 of the NW IFCA byelaw no: 3, that all permit holders will need to submit monthly returns.

Please click here to download the Press Release or a returns form


NW IFCA new byelaw no: 6 prohibiting the use of bottom towed fishing gear in Marine Protected Areas is now in force

Please click on the links below to download any of the following documents:

Report presented to the NWIFCA quarterly meeting held on 6th December 2013. 

Byelaw 6 - confirmed on 15th May 2014, is now enforceable.  

RIA - 3rd February 2014.

Lune Deep HRA  9th January 2014

Sabellaria MMO assessment

Subtidal Bedrock MMO assessment

Seagrass MMO assessment



Draft Byelaw 2 - posted 14th May 2014

Further to the TSB on the 2nd May, further amendments have been made to the draft byelaw number 2.  The NW IFCA would like to receive any comments on the draft byelaw, either by email: or by post to either of the IFCAs offices: 1 Preston Street, Carnforth, Lancashire, LA5 9BY - 6 Duncan Square, Whitehaven, Cumbria, CA28 7LN.  Click to download the Draft Byelaw No: 2, or the Impact Assessment.


Mussel relaying trail in the Walney Channel - harvesting the resultsPlease click here to be re-directed to the Mussel page of the website. 

Heysham Bass Nursery Area Byelaw now in force - all fishing prohibited - June 11 2013

NWIFCA Byelaw 5, Heysham Bass Nursery Area Prohibition of Fishing, has been signed off by Defra and entered into force at 00:01 on 11 June 2013. The byelaw states that: 'No person shall fish for any sea fish nor shall have in their possession any article that could be used for fishing for sea fish in the Heysham Bass Nursery Area or within 10 metres of the shore boundary of the Heysham Bass Nursery Area unless with the written permission of the Authority'.

The purpose of the Byelaw is to properly protect young fish in the Bass Nursery Area, and to promote a greater adult population of bass, increasing supply of sized bass outside the area for both commercial and recreational fisheries. It will also facilitate better enforcement of bass minimum landing size.

Notices will be put up around the area and NWIFCA Inshore Fishery and Conservation Officers will start a program of education and enforcement with fishermen.  

Please click here to view Heysham Bass Nursery Area Chartlet


NWIFCA Text Alerts - 1 May 2013

The NWIFCA is planning to implement a new way of communicating with our stakeholders using text messaging. Stakeholders who have given their mobile phone numbers will receive occasional texts, alerting them to useful information about particular fisheries, stakeholder meetings, or inviting them to engage in NWIFCA consultations.

If you would like to be contacted in this way, please send your name, phone number and, if relevant, any NWIFCA Byelaw permit numbers you hold to Alternatively you can phone the office directly with the information.

The NWIFCA will only use your phone number to communicate with you regarding fisheries matters and other relevant marine issues. We will NOT share your information with any other organisations. 


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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