MPA Research


Sussex IFCA has undertaken a range of MPA based research projects with various partner organisations throughout the Sussex district.

Beachy Head West MCZ

Sussex Wildlife Trust: Shoresearch - The Sussex Shoresearch team organises a programme of survey events throughout the year where species and habitats are recorded at specific sites along the Sussex shoreline.

Sussex Coastal Habitats Inshore Pilot (SCHIP) - The Channel Coastal Observatory (CCO) were commissioned to interpret bathymetry, backscatter and groundtruthing data, with funding from the Environment Agency and the South Downs National Park Authority, for the seabed mapping part of the Sussex Coastal Habitats Inshore Pilot (SCHIP1) project. A series of detailed maps were produced, including surficial substrate, marine habitats and anthropogenic features, to inform conservation, planning policy and management objectives. The report for SCHIP1 habitat project can be found below.

Fishing Effort - Since 2001, when Sussex IFCA officers are conducting a sea patrol and they see a fishing vessel, they record its position and the fishing gear it is using. Fishing activity in and around Beachy Head West MCZ is analysed to understand the fishing pressure on the features.

Sussex Shoresearch SCHIP1 Report Fishing Effort Report 2017-2021

Kingmere Mcz

Acoustic and video surveys - In 2014 and 2015, Sussex IFCA worked with Cefas and Fugro-Emu to use a side scan sonar and underwater video camera to map seabed habitats and black seabream nests. Clips from these video surveys can be found via our interactive map. The features mapped in these surveys helped to develop the spatial extent of the management zones.

Black seabream tagging - Between 2014 and 2016, Sussex IFCA worked with local charter angling skippers to attach external identification tags to seabream. Positions and details of tagged fish released were recorded for every fish and when tagged seabream were recaptured, these details were recorded again, giving some information about seabream migration patterns and site fidelity.

Fishing effort - Concurrent with routine compliance duties, black seabream focussed patrols are conducted April-June to gather catch per unit effort and biological information from recreational and commercial fishers.

Fish surveys - Sussex IFCA supports partner organisations to conduct small fish surveys along the Sussex coast, focussing on juveniles of larger species and small fish adapted to specific nearshore conditions. Juvenile black seabream are often caught inshore as they use these sheltered areas for the first few years of their lives.

Fishing Effort Report 2017-2021

Pagham Harbour MCZ

Pagham Harbour Pilot Small Fish Survey 2015 - A survey of small and juvenile fish was conducted in Pagham Harbour by Sussex IFCA and partners in 2015. The aim of the survey was to provide information on the local fish population. These sheltered coastal areas are important as nursery grounds for many fish species, in particular those which are of commercial importance. Fish are also an important part of marine food webs and as indicators of ecosystem health.

Seagrass Survey - The Environment Agency conducts annual surveys of seagrass in Pagham Harbour and other specified areas in the UK.

Pagham SFS Report Further Information

Utopia MCZ

Video survey - In 2016, a verification survey was carried out by CEFAS. They used a drop down video camera to carry out ground truthing within the MCZ.

SeaSearch - In 2017 volunteer divers conducted a survey in Utopia under the SeaSearch programme.

Fishing effort - Since 2001, when Sussex IFCA officers are conducting a sea patrol and they see a fishing vessel, they record its position and the fishing gear it is using. Fishing activity in and around Utopia MCZ was analysed to understand the fishing pressure on the features.

Utopia MCZ 2016 Survey Report Utopia MCZ 2017 Seasearch Fishing Effort Report 2017-2021

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Sussex IFCA
12A Riverside Business Centre
Brighton Rd
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West Sussex
BN43 6RE

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Telephone: 01273 454407
Fax: 01273 464668
Email: admin@sussex-ifca.gov.uk
Shellfish Permit Enquiries: database@sussex-ifca.gov.uk

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