IFCA Role in MPA Management

Page review/updated 24/09/2023

IFCAs are at the forefront of delivering the UK Government’s commitment to protect the marine environment and the ecosystems it supports. Over 16,062km2 of sea area within IFCA Districts is designated as a Marine Protected Area (1914.35 km2 in D&S IFCA’s District).

Under Sections 124 to 126, and 154 to 157 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009,

D&S IFCA is responsible for the management of fishing activities within the inshore (0-6nm) area of its District and, as such, must take the necessary steps to ensure that the conservation objectives of MPAs are furthered. IFCAs are also deemed Relevant Authorities for European Marine Sites (EMS; including Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas), under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017.

D&S IFCA fulfils these duties by implementing and enforcing Byelaws to manage fisheries and protect MPAs, in addition to carrying out research and monitoring work to improve the evidence base for marine and fisheries management. Management of fishing activities can also be introduced on a voluntary basis, for example by Codes of Conduct.