Scilly’s Fisheries Authority Discusses New Boat

matt lethbridge sea fisheries boatScilly’s Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority needs to set aside cash for a new, better boat.

Maritime Officer Steve Watt told last week’s IFCA meeting that a new vessel with a wheelhouse would allow the islands’ enforcement team to use state-of-the-art equipment in their conservation and enforcement work.

Meeting attendees heard that the local staff can’t use £150,000 worth of sonar equipment and drop down cameras that Defra provide for all ten IFCA’s to share.

But a research vessel would allow staff to compile conservation reports with evidence on reef conditions using the higher definition Defra-bought kit.

Steve wants a new boat in 2016. Cornwall recently bought a second-hand one, which cost £170,000.

He’s hopeful that European funding can be used along with money rolled over from an IFCA underspend.

The new IFCA boat would retain the name Matt Lethbridge, in memory of the islander who started Scilly’s Sea Fisheries Committee in 1970. The current RIB bears his name and goes to sea with a St Christopher on board, donated by Matt’s family.