Wash Fishery Order 1992

In 1992 Eastern Sea Fisheries Joint Committee (ESFJC) was granted a hybrid (Regulating/Several) Order under Section 1 of the 1967 Sea Fisheries (Shellfish) Act.  Eastern IFCA became the managers of the Wash Fishery Order in 2011.

The WFO 1992 was established to provide local management of the mussel, cockle, clams, scallops and queens (the prescribed species) within the Wash estuary embayment (The Wash).

The Several Fishery (Lays)

The WFO 1992 also enables EIFCA to grant exclusive fishing rights to individuals for the purpose of aquaculture – i.e. growing shellfish. These areas are called ‘lays’ and EIFCA collects lay rents on behalf of the Crown Estates.

Interim policies relating to the administration of shellfish lays were agreed at the 30th Eastern IFCA Meeting held on the 25 October 2017. The polices came into force with immediate effect following the meeting.  These are interim measures which will ultimately be replaced by permanent measures following consultation with the industry.

Wash Fishery Order Shellfish Lays Interim polices

The Regulated Fishery

The WFO 1992 enables EIFCA to develop and enforce management measures and regulations to ensure that stocks of the prescribed species are fished in an appropriate manner.

The Regulated fishery includes the entire Wash embayment except the le Strange Estate, the private fisheries granted under the Wash Fishery Order (shellfish lays) and an area covered by an Eastern IFCA Byelaw.

Fishing within the Regulated Fishery is restricted to those with a licence.  Eastern IFCA issues licences in line with the Interim Policies. Application forms can be downloaded by clicking here.

To aid the management of the WFO 1992 fisheries Eastern Sea Fisheries Joint Committee (Eastern IFCA’s predecessor), the fishing industry and Natural England worked together to develop agreed management policies that would be applied to the fisheries covered by the WFO 1992 which can be viewed by clicking here.  These management policies have been reviewed in relation to cockle fisheries and the Cockle Fisheries Management Plan has been produced which can be viewed by clicking here .
Other fisheries within WFO 1992 are subject to ongoing review.

Welland Wall Mussel Fishery

Welland wall is the name given to the mussel fishery situated on the seaward most extent bank of the River Welland in Lincolnshire.  The nature of the Welland Bank is such that it effectively manages itself, receiving regular spatfall.  The rocky nature of the area prevents dredging or over fishing.

The fishery was reviewed at the Marine Protected Areas Sub-committee 13th March 2019 and members agreed to continue to adopt a light-touch approach to management of the fishery.  Eastern IFCA will continue to monitor activity of the fishery and stocks in the fishery.

Because the fishery is within the boundary of the WFO, a WFO licence is required and two licence conditions apply.  These relate to the requirement to complete and submit catch returns and restrictions on the use of a tender.  The licence conditions can be viewed at the link below.  WFO regulations also apply with the exception of the minimum size for mussels in relation to relaying fishing activity and in strict accordance with the enforcement policy below;

Link to Licence Conditions

Link to Enforcement Policies


Enforcement of the Wash Fishery Order 1992

The enforcement of the Wash Fishery Order 1992 is conducted by Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Officers Warranted by the Authority.  EIFCO Warrants can also be issued to other enforcement officers by the Chair of the Authority where appropriate.

Wash Fishery Order 1992

Wash Fishery Order Regulations

Wash Fishery Order 1992: Enforcement Policy – Regulation 17b

Cockle Fishery Code of Best Practice

Mussel Relaying Fishery 2019: Enforcement Policies
The following Enforcement policies are in effect for the Mussel Relaying Fishery 2018 only.

Regulation 2: use of containers
Regulation 8: Minimum Mussel Size



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