The Authority for an Inshore Fisheries and Conservation must manage the exploitation of sea fisheries resources in that district.

The Sussex IFCA governing committee consists of members of West Sussex, East Sussex and Brighton & Hove councils, persons appointed by the MMO, and the Marine Management Organisation, Environment Agency and Natural England. The appointed members of the authority must comprise of those acquainted with the needs and opinions of the fishing community of the district, and those with knowledge of, or expertise in, marine environmental matters.

The IFCA committee delegates functions to the Chief Officer. The Chief Officer manages the professional staff of the IFCA.

The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 details the duties of the IFCA, stating that the authority for an IFC district must;

  • Seek to ensure that the exploitation of sea fisheries resources is carried out in a sustainable way
  • Seek to balance the social and economic benefits of exploiting the sea fisheries resources of the district with the need to protect the marine environment from, or promote its recovery from, the effects of such exploitation
  • Take any other steps which in the authority's opinion are necessary or expedient for the purpose of making a contribution to the achievement of sustainable development, and
  • Seek to balance the different needs of persons engaged in the exploitation of sea fisheries resources in the district
  • Seek to ensure that the conservation objectives of any Marine Conservation Zones in the district are furthered

The Department for environment, food and rural affairs (Defra) issues guidance to support the IFCA in carrying out its role, which can be viewed here.

Legislation pertinent to the governance and duties of Sussex IFCA include the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 and the Sussex IFCA Order 2010.
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