Emergency Whelk Byelaw now in effect
At a meeting of the full Authority on Wednesday 29th April 2015 the introduction of an emergency byelaw to introduce management measures for whelk was approved. The byelaw comes into immediate effect but for the next month the Authority’s officers will be helping fishers to meet the new requirements and enforcement action will not be considered before the end of May 2015 and then only in cases where there has been a failure to take steps to meet the new requirements. The new measures mean that it will be necessary to have a permit to remove whelk from the fishery.
The aims of the new measures are:
- To prevent further significant increases in effort
- To reduce the removal of pre-spawning whelk
- To gather information to gauge how much effort the whelk fisheries can sustain in the long term.
The emergency measures were the subject of informal consultation with the fishing industry and are intended to achieve the best balance between protecting stocks and accounting for the varying needs of fishers. The measures will be refined over the next 12 months and stakeholders, including fishermen, will be further consulted.
Fishers who wish to exploit the whelk fishery are encouraged to make early application for a permit to enable them to continue to exploit the whelk fishery within the Eastern IFCA District.