Scallop fishing vessels banned from dredging in Northumberland and North Tyneside

Dredging by fishing vessels for scallops has been banned along the Northumberland coastline.

Friday, 29th July 2022, 10:29 am
Updated Friday, 29th July 2022, 10:31 am

A new byelaw introduced by the Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (NIFCA) brings the rule into immediate effect.

The NIFCA district covers the sea area from the Scottish Border to the midpoint of the River Tyne and six miles out to sea.

NIFCA chairman Les Weller, explains: “Following an extensive public consultation with stakeholders including the commercial fishing industry and careful consideration, looking at all available options and taking stakeholder comments into account, the authority made this decision to ensure the long-term protection of the marine environment in the NIFCA district and the security of the local potting industry regarding crab and lobster stocks.

Scallop fishing vessels have been banned from dredging. Picture: NIFCA

“It is widely accepted that dredging activities negatively impact the seabed, causing harm to the sea fish and shellfish and marine plants thriving there.

"It is important therefore that NIFCA has been successful in proactively bringing in the ban for the benefit of the marine environment and our local fishing industry.”

NIFCA is one of ten IFCAs around the coast of England and has the national vision to lead, champion and manage a sustainable marine environment and inshore fisheries, by successfully securing the right balance between social, environmental and economic benefits to ensure healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and a viable industry.

The organisation works to put commercial and recreational fishers and people with an interest in the marine environment at the forefront, helping them to take an active role in the protection and enhancement of their inshore marine environment.

It recently organised a public meeting in Seahouses to inform and gauge opinion from fishermen and local stakeholders on a government consultation on the introduction of a Highly Protected Marine Area (HPMA) at Lindisfarne and Farnes Deep.

If approved, fishing would be banned from Goswick to Bamburgh, and include habitats on the north shore of Holy Island, Budle Bay and the outer group of the Farne Islands.

Defra says HPMAs will ‘allow nature to recover to a more natural state, allowing the ecosystem to thrive.’

Further information is available from the NIFCA website at: www.nifca.gov.uk. Alternatively, contact NIFCA at: [email protected] or telephone: 01670 797676.