Changes to fishing permits in Northumberland and North Tyneside

Fishermen in Amble. Picture by Jane Coltman
Fishermen in Amble. Picture by Jane Coltman

A number of minor changes have been agreed to the permits needed by Northumberland and North Tyneside fishermen.

The amendments were agreed at the latest quarterly meeting of the Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (NIFCA).

For recreational shellfish permit holders, the number of lobsters allowed per day is to increase from one to two, which will bring it in line with the North Eastern IFCA, which covers the area south of the River Tyne.

At the same time, the North Eastern IFCA has agreed to reduce the amount of pots allowed per day from 10 to five, which will mean full consistency across the two areas.

NIFCA has also agreed to introduce the compulsory fitting of escape gaps to all recreational pots in the district, with all of these changes hoped to be implemented from January 1 next year.

For trawl and dredge permits, there will now be a requirement to display permit cards in all cases and make monthly returns, as commercial shellfish permit holders already do.

There had been discussion over increasing the fees for commercial shellfish, trawl and dredge permits, but given that this would require a costly and time-consuming byelaw process, it was decided that this would not go ahead at this time.

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service