Our Vision

Inshore fisheries and conservation authorities will lead, champion and manage a sustainable marine environment and inshore fisheries, by successfully securing the right balance between social, environmental and economic benefits to ensure healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and viable industry.

Welcome to our site

Thank you for taking an interest in Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority website. We hope you find it easy and interesting to explore with the information you need. Perhaps it inspires you to discover more about the marine environment and fisheries along the Sussex coast and how abundant and diverse the marine fora and flora are.

We know many of you are increasingly interested in our seas and how they are managed and protected, so we’ve tried to include information that will meet everyone ’s needs.

For those who are interested in the marine biology, the site contains detailed information on some of the most well known finfish and shellfish species that live in the area.

If you are either a commercial or recreational fishermen you can access information on local fisheries regulations and download documents to help you understand the rules and why we manage fishing.

Take a virtual look at our Ditrict with our interactive map

 Interactive Map

For those who want to find out more about fisheries management you can access our plans to further improve management and how you can become involved in the process. If you have something you want to say about the work we are doing or the information we provide please let us know.

Through the stated IFCA ‘Vision’ we are committed to the sustainable management of Sussex marine fisheries and the conservation of the environment for everyone. Our team is committed to improve the future for Sussex coastal waters with you.



UK Marine Policy Statement UN Marine Sustainability Targets  Governance


Due to the Covid-19 emergency measures the Sussex IFCA office will not be receiving visitors, excepting deliveries. This action is required to implement the governments social distancing advice. If you require our services then call us on 01273 454407 or 07534973344 or email on admin@sussex-ifca.gov.uk. All other Sussex IFCA activities will carry on as normal, within the bounds of current government advice to protect the wider community.

Given the unfolding situation surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent impact on the fishing industry as fish markets and restaurant close across the country, the issue of industry support and fishermen’s welfare is pertinent.

Sussex IFCA has a document offering links to support networks here The Association of IFCAs has information here.   A summary explaining which of the government support measures are currently available to the seafood industry can be found here .

Oyster Season 2020 Closure

Following recent sampling of the Chichester Harbour oyster beds, we have issued a formal notice of closure. For more information see here.

Nearshore Trawling Byelaw and Netting Permit Byelaw Consultations

As part of a comprehensive review of existing management measures we examined the management of nearshore trawling and netting activities. Having reviewed evidence and stakeholder views the Authority has proposed changes to existing regulations in the form of new byelaws to protect sustainable fisheries and the essential fish habitats that support them. The public consultation on the proposed Nearshore Trawling and Netting Permit Byelaw closed on the 10 th October 2019, following the consultation period as defined within Defra’s guidance to IFCAs. The Authority has now considered all objections and has now submitted the byelaws to the Marine Management Organisation and Defra. The Authority has responded to objections received. The Authority wishes to express its thanks to all those who responded during the consultation period. More information can be viewed here . See the media release for the Nearshore Trawling Byelaw decision here.

Kelp forests are an essential fish habitat that we are seeking to restore through this management review. A short film about Sussex kelp forests can be viewed here.

Bass regulations for commercial and recreational fishing

To protect the vulnerable bass population in European seas new regulation is in place.  Read More

Essential Fish Habitats: Natural capital & Ecosytem services
As part of our consultations we have produced a factsheet to expalin what Natural Capital and their Ecosystem Services means for essential fish habitats and fisheries here .

Chichester Harbour
See some of our latest Chichester Harbour project work  here .

Sussex Shellfish Permit Byelaw
If you fish for lobster, crab, whelk, cuttlefish or prawns in Sussex District then you need a shellfish permit from Sussex IFCA. See the guidance information here.

Read our 2019 report on the Sussex shellfishery here .

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People in Sussex can all enjoy the beaches and sea around us, from divers, swimmers, anglers, commercial fishers and sailors to people walking along the beaches and cliff tops taking in the sights. How many people know about what’s under the sea, and about the fishing that it supports? The dolphins that frequent the sea around Brighton and the seals that haul out in Chichester Harbour are flagship Sussex species that indicate the incredible marine wildlife that exists more often out of sight.

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There is a diverse commercial fishing fleet that operate off the Sussex Coast. Many boats are under 10m in length and operate inshore, usually within six nautical miles (nm) of the coast. These boats land their catch daily. Most of the fleet operate throughout the year in pursuit of whichever fish or shellfish (and or quota) is available during the season. For example sole are fished in the spring and autumn, bass are targeted in the summer and cod in the winter. There is a thriving recreational sea fishery from the shore and from a fleet of private boats and charter vessels.

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