Management, Monitoring & Future Work

Management

Management of the three sites consists of voluntary Codes of Conduct, which aim to balance the needs of all user groups by restricting certain commercial fishing activities to preserve the importance of the areas to recreational anglers and charter boats. The vessel size restriction at Skerries Bank maintains access for small commercial fishing vessels that rely on access to the area. 

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Monitoring

In order to supplement anecdotal information gained through the stakeholder engagement phase and to provide a baseline for monitoring the impacts of implementing small-scale spatial management to benefit the RSA and charter boat sectors, D&S IFCA determined that detailed information regarding the use and compliance of the sites was required and therefore established a Monitoring Plan.

This would allow D&S IFCA to understand how different user groups use the sites throughout the year and monitor compliance with the voluntary Code of Conduct.

Monitoring only focused on Skerries Bank and Burnham, Berrow and Brean Angling Zones as these sites were the most complex due to their dual importance to both commercial and recreational fishers. Boat and shore-based surveys were conducted from April 2015 to April 2016 where the type of vessel, fishing activity and number of anglers and rods were recorded. Interviews were conducted, where possible, to establish the awareness of and compliance with the voluntary Code of Conduct. In addition, information on the target species was obtained. Commercial fishers were sent fishing activity logs to complete and return on a monthly basis to obtain data on the location of fishing activities, type of fishing activity and species targeted. These data have been used to produce a baseline report on the Skerries Bank and a report for Burnham, Berrow and Brean will be published on our website in due course.

Future work

Conclusions from the Skerries Bank baseline report suggest that the continued development of a co-management approach appears to be the most appropriate way forward. In order to elucidate whether there have been changes in the use of the site since the original data were collected, the suggested next steps in the development of the Skerries Bank Angling Zone are:

  • Hold follow up stakeholder engagement workshops to compare each user group’s perception about the current activity levels and establish whether there have been changes in use of the site since the survey work was undertaken.
  • Conduct further monitoring work to overcome some of the limitation of the original data.
  • Complete a review of the status and landings of key stocks in order to understand the conflict of resources on a broader spatial scale.
  • Carry out a literature review of the success of spatial /temporal management for the development of one or multiple user groups elsewhere to aid decisions on the future management of the site. 
  • Use this additional work to feed into a renewed Angling Strategy which should be included in the D&S IFCA’s Annual Plan for 2020-2021.