Northumberland's chief fisheries officer retires after 25 years patrolling coastline

Northumberland’s chief fisheries officer is retiring after 25 years of patrolling the county’s coastline.

By Ben O'Connell
Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 9:50 am
Al Browne
Al Browne

Al Browne, chief officer at Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (NIFCA), served the organisation and its predecessor – the Northumberland Sea Fisheries Committee – since 1995.

Al said: “I am in many ways sorry to be leaving such a great team of officers and members at NIFCA, but I feel the time is right and I know that I am passing on the role to an extremely capable and experienced officer in Mark Southerton.

“I would like to thank everybody who I have worked with, officers and members, down the years and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a sea fisheries officer and found it extremely fulfilling.

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Al Browne, second from right, with, from left, NIFCA CEO Mike Hardy, the Duchess of Northumberland, Fishermen’s Mission area officer Peter Dade and NIFCA chairman Les Weller at the launch of the St Aidan in 2015.

“I will be keeping in touch with colleagues and look forward to the IFCA continuing to carry out its important work.”

Northumberland’s is one of ten IFCAs around the English coast with a vision to ‘lead, champion and manage a sustainable marine environment and inshore fisheries’.

NIFCA covers an area from the Scottish border down to the River Tyne and six nautical miles out to sea.

The authority’s chairman, Les Weller, said: “Al has been a first-class officer down the years for the Sea Fisheries Committee and the IFCA, leading by example and bringing all of his great experience to bear in the important work which NIFCA carries out of protecting our inshore fisheries and marine environment along the coast of Northumberland.

“On behalf of the NIFCA members, as well as myself, I give Al every best wish for a long and happy retirement.”

CEO Mike Hardy described it as ‘a pleasure and a privilege’ to work with Al since 1998.

He added: “Al has always adopted an extremely professional approach, he has led his team of officers extremely well and he has always been a positive and cheerful presence in our office and wherever he has worked.

“He has also done significant work nationally in planning for the future of the inshore fisheries and marine environment, and he will be missed, but he goes with the very best wishes of myself and all of our colleagues at NIFCA for a long and happy retirement.”