The district of Kent & Essex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (K&EIFCA) contains some of the most attractive, productive and intensively used coastal waters in the UK; from the small picturesque harbours of Whitstable, Leigh and West Mersea to the major industrial ports of Harwich, London and Dover. This marine environment includes unique features such as the Essex mud flats and marshes, offshore sandbanks, the Kent chalk cliffs and cobble beaches all of which contain a fascinating array of habitats and species.  K&EIFCA has been created to sustainably manage local inshore fisheries resources and protect this diverse marine environment.

The creation of K&EIFCA provides an opportunity for local people to engage in the management of fisheries resources and the marine environment within our district, and we hope that our new organisation will help lead the way in creating and implementing locally and nationally recognised successful marine management. K&EIFCA faces many challenges in the next four years, including the integration of five new areas into the K&EIFCA district, the introduction of new Marine Conservation Zones, and the review of inherited byelaws.  Our annual plan aims to provide stakeholders with an overview of some of the key actions that K&EIFCA intends to carry out in the forthcoming financial year and lays out how the organisation will operate.

Under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, K&EIFCA is required to develop systems that will balance the needs of the various users and sectors that work and fish in the district. K&EIFCA will also need to reconcile the needs of the present with the requirement to leave a sustainable marine legacy for the future. Unfortunately these challenges are made even more difficult given the current financial climate, however we hope that with the help of our partners and stakeholders we can start to deliver and move forward on some of these key areas.

Dr. Will Wright
Chief IFC Officer