Byelaw 11: Development of shellfish fisheries – new requirements for shrimp fishermen submitting return forms
This document is intended to set out the requirements for completing and submitting catch return forms for shrimp fishing as of 1 January 2022.
Shrimp return forms are crucial to monitoring fishing activity in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and enabling a shrimp fishery throughout the district.
Byelaw 11: Development of Shellfish Fisheries enables Eastern IFCA to require data from fishermen. Under this byelaw, we have required shrimp fishermen operating within the Wash and North Norfolk Coast Special Area of Conservation to provide fishing data since November of 2015. We are changing the requirements to improve the accuracy of the information provided and ensure that we have the data we need to continue to enable shrimp fishing within the district.
We are introducing new requirements for completing shrimp return forms which will come into effect from 1 January 2022.
If you fish for shrimps within the District at any point between 1 August and 31 July of any given year, you must complete return forms for the rest of that period.
You are required to submit a form to account for every day of the calendar year including when the vessel did not fish for shrimps. This means that you must submit a form for dates where you have not been fishing as well as when fishing has occurred. The frequency that you must submit completed forms depends on where you have been fishing in the last two years.
- Weekly returns – If a vessel has fished for shrimps within ICES 34F0 or 35F0 within the last two years, shrimp return forms for that vessel must be received by Eastern IFCA by Wednesday each week, relating to activity for the week before. This is because we need more frequent returns for fishing in these areas.
- Monthly returns – Otherwise, shrimp return forms for that vessel must be received by the 10th day of each month relating to activity for the previous month.
We have also developed a new shrimp return form which is intended to make it easier to complete and submit return forms.
Why do we need to change the measures?
Eastern IFCA must monitor the level of fishing activity within the Wash and North Norfolk Coast SAC to ensure that the levels of activity do not impact the cons
ervation objectives of the site.
If fishermen do not provide accurate and timely fishing data, there is a risk that the fishery will have to close to prevent an impact on site integrity. Compliance with the requirement to provide this information needs to increase in order to keep the fishery open.
The new requirements will enable us to monitor fishing effort more effectively and will provide more accurate data.
Vessel owners have been notified in writing if our records show that they have been shrimping and what frequency we require return forms.
Further information will be provided to all known shrimp fishermen (who are not vessel owners) and associations to make them aware of the new requirement.
For Guidance on completing shrimp return forms click here.