Enforcement and Legislation

Page review/updated 18/06/2024

This page, the drop down menu, or the folders below, enables you to view some important information such as the Permit Byelaws, Permit Conditions, the whole Byelaw Book. Information about different legislation can also be found in section E of the Resource Library.


The Enforcement Team consists of five Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Officers (IFCOs). The Enforcement Team’s knowledge and expertise is extensive and underpinned by a varied background of enforcement work. Sea patrols are governed by intelligence received and inputted into the national intelligence model, which is shared amongst other Agencies.

The Enforcement Team currently have use of two separate Rigid Inflatable Boats (R.I.Bs).

A 7.8 metre vessel named the David Rowe to honour the memory of a former Authority member and also a 6.4 metre Tornado vessel. Both vessels can be transported via trailer throughout the extent of the Devon and Severn IFCA’s District. The IFCOs’ work comprises of varied shift patterns; incorporating reactive working to respond to immediate threats to the local fishery. Joint working with the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), the Environment Agency (EA) and the Police is paramount as we move forward in sharing resources and this ensures that enforcement work isn’t duplicated. Information from patrols, investigations, boardings and prosecutions is recorded on the Monitoring Control Surveillance System (MCSS) which is shared with the MMO.

Legislation and Reporting Suspicious Activity

If you have a general enquiry about our legislation, please Contact Us. If you suspect any suspicious or illegal fishing activity, you have options how to report this. We have a dedicated “Reporting Illegal Fishing Activity” website page that includes a reporting form. This form enables you to report without providing your name of contact details.

We also have an or have an Incident Line – 07740175479

You can also email:


Officers have produced a Flyer (image right) that also gives details about D&S IFCA and reporting suspicious fishing activity. The flyer can be downloaded by clicking here.

Any personal data that you provide will be held securely and not shared.

The D&S IFCA Enforcement & Compliance Strategy provides you with a range of information relating to enforcement activity. Information includes how the enforcement activity is conducted, what powers are used, our resources, how we work in partnership, and what options are considered if offences are detected.

Permits are needed to conduct Mobile Fishing, potting, netting and diving for scallop, crab and lobster. Permits are needed to conduct these activities commercially and recreationally.

The folders in this section are divided into different fishing methods (Mobile Fishing, Potting, Netting and Diving)

The contents of each folder includes the individual Permit Byelaws, the Permit Conditions, the Annexes (that accompany the Permit Conditions), Policy and Guidance information and also the Application Forms for you to acquire your chosen Permit.

A temporary closure of public mussel beds in both the Teign and Exe Estuary has been implemented. Defined areas in both estuaries have been closed from 1st May 2019.

The closure applies to both commercial and recreational fishers and is for mussel and not other shellfish species

The table provides an insight into the status of various D&S IFCA investigations.

The D&S IFCA Byelaw Book lists all the Byelaws, including those inherited from Devon Sea Fisheries which remain in force.

The folder also provides a list of Minimum Conservation Reference Sizes (MCRS) for fish and shellfish species.