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No person can set a whelk pot in the district unless they have been granted a whelk permit by Kent & Essex IFCA and set their whelk pots in compliance with the Whelk Fishery Permit Byelaw a summary of which is outlined below.

Anyone wishing to fish for whelks within the district must hold a current KEIFCA whelk permit. There are 2 categories of permit available. Category 1 permits for up to 300 pots and Category 2 permits for up to 10 pots.

A Category 1 permit costs £100 and a Category 2 permit costs £30. Each tag costs 30p.

No person shall set a whelk pot that it is not fitted with a tag issued to that person.

Each string of pots shall be clearly marked with a floating buoy or dahn at each end. The buoy or dahn must be at least 30 cm diameter and shall be clearly marked with the whelk permit number, and in the case of a registered fishing vessel, the PLN.

From 3 April 2017 all whelk pots must contain at least 10 escape holes no less than 25mm in diameter positioned at least 150mm from the base and no less than 50mm from the top of the pot.

From 3 April 2017 all whelks must be graded for size using a riddle constructed of parallel bars no less than 25mm apart. All whelks which pass through the riddle must be returned to the sea. Additionally all remaining whelks must then be inspected to ensure they exceed the statutory minimum size of 45 mm.

On 31 January 2020, Members agreed a Whelk Minimum Size Emergency Byelaw in order to move away from the use of a riddle as an enforceable matrix. This Emergency Byelaw  translates the current minimum riddle spacing of 25mm into a minimum shell height of 53mm with a tolerance of 5%. This means that the minimum size of whelks that can be caught in the Kent & Essex district is 53mm shell length.  The Emergency Byelaw should be read in conjunction with the Whelk Fishery Permit Byelaw

To view a copy of the Whelk Fishery Permit Byelaw please click here. For a copy of the Whelk Minimum Size Emergency Byelaw click here

To view a copy of the Technical Requirements from 3 April 2017 click here

For a Category One permit application, click here

For a Category One nominated permit application, click here

For a Category Two permit application, click here

For a Category Two nominated permit application, click here