Scilly’s IFCA Needs More Staff For Enforcement Activities

matt lethbridge sea fisheries vessel 2The IFCA needs more staff to help protect Scilly’s fish stocks against illegal fishing.

In early May, there weren’t enough staff to man a boat, needed to intercept a French fishing vessel that appeared to be on the edge of the 6-mile zone.

Only registered boats can fish within this zone.

The weather was too bad to go out when it was first spotted on ship tracking software at 10pm on a Friday night.

To investigate the next day, IFCA needed two workers – 1 to board the boat and one to stay with the rib.

But there’s a shortage of crew following Fraser Hicks’ resignation in the winter. He had to resign because he can’t work for the authority and serve as a councillor.

Cllr Andy Guy asked the meeting whether there was support for recruiting volunteers, but Council Chairman Amanda Martin felt it would be better to offer a paid role for the “sustainability of the service.”

Cllr Chris Thomas warned that the level of experience needed, which includes advanced powerboat skills, two years seafaring and potentially a sea survival course, means it is too much to expect for volunteers.

The role will be advertised at around £8 an hour.

At the meeting, Andy Guy was elected Chairman of the islands’ Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority. Tim Allsop was appointed as Vice Chairman

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