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musseldredge

Overview of regulations relating to mussel dredging. Additional regulations may be found under KEIFCA byelaws

 

(a)      No person or vessel shall tow or operate any dredge or dredges with an aggregate width of blade, front edge or opening that exceeds 2 metres when fishing for or retaining any mussels.   This shall not apply when a person is operating under consent granted for the collection of seed mussels under the Committee’s (IFCA) Mussel Minimum Size byelaw.

(b)      Dredges not being towed or operated, that exceed the requirement above shall be disconnected from their towing or hauling wires or ropes, lashed and stowed in a manner that they cannot easily be deployed.

(c)      No person shall continue to operate any dredge or fishing instrument for the purpose of taking mussels if representative samples taken from the catch on board contain 10% or more of mussels, by weight, with visible damage to their shells or the catch contains 5% or more, by weight, of gravel, stones or other surface material or substrate of the mussel bed other than dead shells.

(d)      A representative sample will consist of no less than 3 samples of 10 Kilograms of mussels taken different parts of the catch.

The requirements of this byelaw shall not apply when the total catch of mussels retained onboard weighs less than 10 Kilograms or when the quantity of mussels weighs less than 5% of total catch of other species.

Limitation on quantity of mussels that may be removed

No person shall operate a vessel that, during the course of a 24 hour period, removes more than 13.6 cubic metres of mussels from any part of the District.

No mussels shall be carried on board at the time of commencing fishing.

For the purpose of calculating the quantity of mussels, in cubic meters, no allowance shall be made in respect of the quantity of any dead shell, sand, and other species or debris mixed with the catch.

The requirement of this byelaw shall not apply to persons operating under an authorisation by the Committee (IFCA) for the collection of seed mussels under the Mussel Minimum Size Byelaw.

The provisions of this byelaw are without prejudice to any historic right of Several Fishery, Act of Parliament, Royal Charter or other rights that exist within the District as referred to in Section 6(a) of the Sea Fisheries Regulation Act 1966 except the private fishery rights held by the Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.

Mussel minimum size

(a)      No person shall, without the written consent of the IFCA, remove from the fishery mussels of which more than 10% by weight, of a representative sample, will pass through a space 18mm in width.   A representative sample will consist of no less than 3 samples of 10 kilograms of mussels taken from different parts of the catch.   Catches of mussels that do not meet this criteria, and also rejected small mussels, must be returned immediately to the seabed.

(b)      collection of seed mussels – The Committee (IFCA) will give written consent to all applicants to allow the removal of mussels below the minimum size from a specified area and during a specified period of time provided that:

(i)       Representative samples taken from the area show that the size of seed  mussels within that area are above a modal size of 15mm shell length or that the seed mussels are at a population density above 10,000 per square metre that they are likely to suffer from stunted growth or high mortality.

For the purpose of this section of the byelaw a representative sample will consist of at least 10 samples of 3kg taken from different parts of the mussel bed; and

(ii)      Account has been taken of any scientific advice it has received in relation to the best conditions for the sustainability of the fishery and the results of any relevant surveys

Application for consent will be processed as quickly as is possible taking into account the need for any harvesting of seed mussels to rake place prior to likely high levels of predation by starfish.

Modal size will be most frequently occurring shell length measurement within a sample.

Written consent granted by the IFCA shall be carried at all times when operating under this authorisation.

The provisions of this byelaw are without prejudice to any historic right of Several Fishery, Act of Parliament, Royal Charter or other rights that exist within the District as referred to in Section 6(a) of the Sea Fisheries Regulation Act 1966 except the private fishery rights held by the Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.