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Southern SFC Confirms Byelaw

Jan 18,2008 Leon Roskilly

Since 1995 the Southern Sea Fisheries Committee byelaws have excluded any fishing vessel over 12 metres in length from the district's waters, out to 6 miles.

Although the byelaw was introduced to prevent larger vessels which have a proportionately greater fish catching capacity as a conservation measure, recently the Chief Fisheries Officer has decided that the byelaw applies to angling charter vessels (where size is not relevant to catching capacity - other regulations limit the number of anglers, regardless of vessel size).

(see: http://www.sacn.org.uk/index.php?news=361 )

Some Angling charter boats have invested in larger vessels to provide greater comfort and safety for their anglers, as well as improved facilities such as decent toilets and galley.

The matter was addressed at yesterday's meeting of the SFC where it was decided on a vote of 9 Members who voted for the motion, four who voted against, and two who abstained (one member left the meeting before the vote took place).

The meeting was attended by Richard Ferre, the Chairman of the NFSA who has only recently been appointed to the committee by DEFRA.

After the meeting, Richard said "I spent a fair while after the meeting talking to 3 of the councilors, none of whom really know much about sea angling. Rest assured I will start an education programme at every opportunity."

Minutes of the meeting and further information can be obtained from Southern SFC by emailing them at  southernsfc@btconnect.com

Note: Apart from Devon SFC, all other SFC's which have similar byelaws limiting vessel size either specifically refer to trawlers or exclude angling charter boats from the size restricition.


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