The Sussex IFCA district
The Sussex IFCA is a committee of the local authorities that fall within the Sussex IFC district, namely East Sussex County Council, West Sussex County Council and Brighton and Hove City Council. We are tasked with the sustainable management of inshore sea fisheries resources in our local area. The IFCA is made up of representatives from the constituent local authorities (who provide funding for the IFCA) and people from across the different sectors that use or are knowledgeable about the inshore marine area such as; commercial and recreational fishermen, environmental groups and marine researchers, all of whom offer their time voluntarily.
The Marine Management Organisation, Environment Agency and Natural England also each have a statutory seat on the IFCA. Through their local management and funding structures, IFCAs help put local authorities, local communities, local businesses and individual citizens in the driving seat, allowing them to play a bigger part in the protection and enhancement of their inshore marine environment.
The authority for an IFC district must manage the exploitation of sea fisheries resources in that district e.g. all animals or plants that live in the sea, including those that are cultivated in the sea and;
a) seek to ensure that the exploitation of sea fisheries resources is carried out in a sustainable way,
b) 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,
c) take any other steps which in the authority’s opinion are necessary for the purpose of making a contribution to the achievement of sustainable development,
d) seek to balance the different needs of persons engaged in the exploitation of sea fisheries resources in the district
Protection of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs): The authority for an IFC district must seek to ensure that the conservation objectives of any MCZ in the district are furthered.
Management of fisheries within Marine Protected Areas (Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Areas (SPA) and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)): manage fisheries within marine protected areas.
The Sussex IFCA recognise the importance of being fully engaged within the community, we see interaction with fishermen during decision making processes and assistance with research projects as essential to success. Over the coming months we will be actively seeking to establish and build close working relationships with recreational sea anglers. We will work with non governmental organisations such as the Wildlife Trust as well as seeking to actively promote the conservation value of the marine environment off the Sussex coast.
The Sussex IFCA has been developing close working relationships with other government agencies and organisations such as The Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), Natural England (NE), Environment Agency (EA), Environmental Health Officers, The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and the Marine Conservation Zone Balanced Seas Project.