Marking of Static Gear - Update

D&S IFCA officers have been conducting boardings at sea to monitor compliance with the marking of gear requirements set out in the recreational and commercial potting and netting permit conditions.

The D&S IFCA Potting Permit Conditions include;

A permit holder or named representative is not authorised under this Permit to use any pots, for the purpose of fishing, within the District unless all individual pots or each string or shank of pots is clearly marked by at least one floating marker (buoy or dahn).  Each of these buoys or dahns shall be clearly marked with either the relevant fishing vessels registration (port, letters and numbers) of the vessel named on the Permit or the Permit number.

The D&S IFCA Netting Permit Conditions include;

A permit holder or named representative is only authorised under this permit to use a net within the District if: 

a)    each net is clearly marked by at least one floating marker at either end of the net; and

b)    each of the markers must display clearly the port, letters and numbers of the vessel named on the permit; or

c)    in the case of a Category Two Permit holder each of the markers must display clearly the permit number.

Findings to Date

To date patrols have been conducted from Plymouth to Exmouth and the initial findings are positive.  Officers findings are that during 2022 gear marking compliance has significantly improved throughout the District. However, there remains a small amount of gear that fails to satisfy the requirements. The positions of this gear are being collated and will be revisited in due course and action will be taken to ensure compliance with the Permit Conditions.

Continuing Action & Achieving Compliance

Patrols of the District will continue to take place with gear marking being a dominating focus.

Failing to mark the static gear in accordance with the Permit Conditions is an offence. D&S IFCA will endeavour to achieve compliance through engagement with fishers to help them understand the legal requirements, but D&S IFCA has a range of enforcement actions available in line with its Compliance and Enforcement Strategy

Many commercial and recreational fishers mark their gear correctly.  Everything associated with fishing needs regular maintenance and marking of gear is no different.  Compliance could be achieved for example by carrying a few freshly marked buoys on board to replace any that have lost their markings or have weeded up heavily to obscure the markings when the gear has been hauled. 

Examples of static gear that is not marked in accordance with the Permit Conditions:

Why compliance with marking of gear is important

Marking of gear is important as it helps fishers and D&S IFCA know who is fishing where in the District and is one of the ways to monitor levels of fishing activity within the recreational and commercial sectors. It also means that D&S IFCA can help prevent the tampering with, or unauthorised use of other persons’ gear. 

Questions

If you wish to discuss the requirements for the marking of gear or have other permit related questions that you would wish to raise with D&S IFCA, please contact us, preferably by email, office@devonandsevernifca.gov.uk or by phone 01803 854648 (office) or 07740 175479 (out of hours).