Sea Patrol around the Plymouth Sound Area

Recently, officers conducted a sea patrol in Plymouth Sound, Wembury Bay and Bigbury Bay to monitor commercial and recreational fishing activities. Officers focussed on both commercial and recreational vessels to ensure that they were being operated in accordance with a valid permit that is needed to conduct different fishing activities.

Who needs a Permit?

Commercial vessels operating within the D&S IFCA District are required to have a permit to conduct mobile fishing, potting, netting, and diving for the removal of lobster, crab, and scallops. Recreational fishermen are also required to have a permit for the use of nets, pots and to undertake diving for the removal of lobster, crab, and scallops. If you need a permit and wish to apply this can be done using the on-line permit application facility by using this link or by contacting D&S IFCA.

Gear and Vessel Inspections

Covid-19 presents challenges for officers inspecting catch and gear on board fishing vessels; however, visual inspections of gear and catch was still achievable. Transfer of catch between fishing vessels and the enforcement patrol vessel “David Rowe” enabled shellfish to be measured; all of which was above the Minimum Conservation Reference Size/s (MCRS). Four pots aboard a recreational fishing vessel were visually inspected and fully compliant with the permit conditions. Officers were also able to haul recreational and commercial pots placed on the seabed to inspect it thoroughly. Potting permit conditions include requirements for the correct marking of gear, the correct use of and fitting of escape gaps, and in the case of recreational potting permits, all pots (maximum of five pots per permit holder) can only be used in conjunction with a tag issued by D&S IFCA. All gear hauled and inspected during the patrol was fully compliant with the potting permit conditions.

Engagement and Queries

Officers utilise both sea and shore patrols to engage with fishers and are always willing to answer questions associated with fishing restrictions. The D&S IFCA website also offers the opportunity to view the different permit conditions that are currently in place. The different permits and their conditions can be viewed on the Enforcement & Legislation drop down menu or within the D&S IFCA website Resource Library. The Contact Us page on the website also enables officers to be reached by email or mobile phone.

Intelligence Led Enforcement

Our enforcement work is targeted, and intelligence led, so if you see any suspicious fishing activity, please report it to us, anonymously on 07740 175479.