Overview of regulations relating to oyster 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 or front edge that exceeds 4 metres when dredging or fishing for oysters in any public fishery within the district.
(b) No person shall remove from any public fishery within the IFCA any oysters that will pass through a circular ring of 7.0 centimetres in internal diameter. This requirement shall not apply to the pacific rock oyster, (Crassostrea gigas).
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.
Prohibition on taking Native Oysters
Notice of Closure
Since 2012 Kent & Essex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority has implemented a closure under its Shellfish Beds byelaw to protect remaining, severely depleted, stocks of Native Oysters (Ostrea Edullis) within the area known as the Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Colne Marine Conservation Zone . This temporary closure has been put in place to prevent further decline in the stock and ensure recovery. Stock surveys carried out continue to show that stocks are severely depleted and are not in a favourable condition. As a result the closure will be extended until 31 May 2020 or until the new Native Oyster Permit Byelaw comes into force.
Under the Shellfish Bed Byelaw, application for authority to undertake stock surveys, cleaning of culch and stock management otherwise disturb any shellfish in a bed which is temporarily closed, in pursuance of the byelaw specified above, should be made in writing to the Authority.
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 of the Sea Fisheries Regulation Act 1966.
Under the KEIFCA Shellfish Beds Byelaw it is prohibited during the two year period 31 May 2018 to 31 May 2020 to remove or disturb any Native Oyster (ostrea edulis), without the consent of the Authority, from within the area known as the Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Colne Marine Conservation Zone defined by a line drawn from a position on the coast at Clacton 51º47’.223N 01º09’.325E, connecting through points at: 51º43’.853N 01°09’.178E, 51º41’.969N 01º08’.367E, 51º40’.021N 01º05’.053E to Foulness Point at position 51º37’.206N 00º57’.475E and thence following the line of mean high water along the Essex coastline and across the entrance to Havengore creek returning to a position on the coast at Clacton 51º47’.223N 01º09’.325E.
No person shall remove any oyster cultch from any oyster ground.
For the purpose of this byelaw “cultch” shall be taken to mean the shells of dead molluscs and any other material suitable for the reception of oyster spat.