Exemptions for Survey Work

D&SIFCA have issued an exemption to the survey vessel Solent Guardian charted by Fugro, to deploy mobile fishing gear for scientific purposes within the District for two days between the 16th August and the 30th September 2019. This exemption is so that the vessel is not in contravention of both the Mobile Fishing Permit Byelaw and Byelaw 18 - Size of Vessels.

The survey trawls conducted by the Solent Guardian will form part of a benthic ecology sampling survey and are intended to collect information on the seabed fauna found within and around the site of the proposed Parsons Tunnel to Teignmouth Resilience Development. This will inform the environmental impact assessment of the site.  

Why Issue Exemptions?

There are many different scenarios where the Authority and stakeholders can benefit from the issuing of authorisations, also commonly referred to exemptions or dispensations. This includes scientific work that can add to an existing evidence base or contribute to a longer-term data set. Without the ability to issue an exemption there could be an adverse impact on the Authority’s ability to manage inshore fisheries. 

The exemption granted for the Solent Guardian is currently issued via an Emergency Application Byelaw that allows permissions to be issued for scientific purposes or for stocking or breeding purposes. D&S IFCA has to replace the Emergency Application Byelaw this year and are proposing to introduce the Exemptions Byelaw 2019.

What is the difference?

The proposed Exemptions Byelaw has more scope than the Emergency Byelaw and enables the Authority to consider and potentially grant or decline permission for activities where, in the view of the Authority, the permission does not detract from the Authority’s duties as set out in the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. The rationale for the introduction of the new Byelaw is set out in an Impact Assessment.

On 15th August 2019, D&S IFCA finished formally consulting on the introduction of the Exemptions Byelaw. The responses submitted in the consultation will be collated and then examined by the D&S IFCA Byelaw & Permitting Sub-Committee in September 2019 before a decision is taken to potentially submit the Exemptions Byelaw 2019 to Defra for confirmation.

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