Formal consultation: Eligibility Policy (allocation of permits) and limitation on the number of permits under the Wash Cockle and Mussel Byelaw 2021

This Consultation is now CLOSED

The responses were carefully considered and resulted in several changes to the Eligibility Policy and Permit limitation.  An outcome document is available at the link below along with the Eligibility policy and associated Impact Assessment –


Eastern IFCA is undertaking a formal consultation on the number of permits and Eligibility Policy which will manage access to the cockle and mussel fisheries in The Wash under the new Cockle and Mussel Byelaw 2021.

We are seeking your views on the proposed policies to inform their further development before they are finalised. The deadline for responses is midday on 18 July 2022.

How to have your say:

We have produced a questionnaire, designed to get your feedback on every aspect of the Eligibility Policy. You can fill this out online through the following link: [Questionnaire]

If you would like a physical copy, please contact the office and we will send it through to you by post. We also welcome written responses, should this be your preference. Please email or post these to us using the contact details linked above.

What is the Eligibility Policy?

The Eligibility Policy will guide how permits are allocated under the Wash Cockle and Mussel Byelaw. It covers all aspects of how the permitting system under the new byelaw will work and includes provisions on how permits will be issued, who is eligible to apply and how we will transition from Wash Fishery Order 1992 licences to permits under the new byelaw. The limitation on the number of permits is set out in the Eligibility Policy also.

To read the full Eligibility Policy [click here].

To read a summary of the Eligibility Policy [click here].

How has the Eligibility Policy been developed?

The Eligibility Policy has been developed through significant dialogue with Wash fishermen. Development of each aspect of the policy has been guided by the aim and objectives previously agreed with the fishing industry. The aim of the policy is:

To achieve a level of access to the fishery that is equitable, and which supports the viability of varying business models, the conservation objectives of The Wash and stock sustainability

To read the full wording of the aim and objectives click here.

To read more about the how the aim and objectives were developed click here.

What is the Eligibility Policy seeking to achieve?

The Eligibility Policy seeks to ensure that access to the cockle and mussel fisheries in The Wash is fair, transparent, equitable, and will support sustainable fisheries and industry viability into the future.

Under the Eligibility Policy, the allocation of permits is subject to the ultimate discretion of the Authority. This is to address the concerns raised by the Wash fishing industry around the circumvention of the rules and the ‘renting out’ of licences under the Wash Fishery Order 1992.

The intended effect of the Policy is to ensure that permits cannot be traded, leased, rented, bought or sold.

What happens after the consultation closes?

After the consultation deadline we will carefully consider all responses and feedback received, and these will be used to finalise the Eligibility Policy.

A summary of responses will be provided to the Authority to inform a final decision on the Eligibility Policy and limitation on the number of permits.  We anticipate taking a final version to the Authority in September of 2022.

We are committed to meaningful engagement with industry to further understand the potential impacts of management decisions on fishery livelihoods. We take these into account alongside our obligations to maintain sustainable fisheries and healthy environments.


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