Scilly’s IFCA Representatives Attending London Meeting

Steve Watt, Scilly's Maritime Officer

The chairman of our new IFCA sea fisheries committee, Chris Thomas and Marine Officer, Steve Watt are in London today to voice islanders’ opposition to proposed fishing quotas for boats under 10ms length.

Restrictions could limit islanders’ brown crab and lobster catch.

They’ll meet with Defra officials, along with representatives from the nine other IFCAs in the UK, all of whom are against limiting catch.

Steve Watt says Defra has suggested running a pilot scheme before any changes are launched nationally, although he believes it’s unlikely that our islands would be chosen for the trial because of our size.

New catch gauges that will help fishermen measure what can be landed legally and what needs to go back in the water are being provided for free. Steve says most commercial fishermen have been using the gauges for some time but a lot break or get lost, hence the demand for new ones.

IFCA is funding 100 of the tools, which cost £5 each to make.

Steve says the new gauge is specifically made for Scilly, unlike the former one, which was based on the version from Cornwall and included fish such as velvet crab that aren’t caught here.