The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) enforces UK and European laws that protect fisheries resources. MMO inspects fishing vessels at sea and in port.
If you don’t comply with the law, MMO may take action in line with the MMO’s Compliance and Enforcement Strategy.
Inshore fisheries management
Under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, ten inshore fisheries and conservation authorities (IFCAs) have replaced sea fisheries committees (SFCs).
Each IFCA manages an IFC district that covers part of the English coast that goes out to six nautical miles and its inland boundaries align with those of its constituent local authorities. IFCAs also manage sea fisheries resources in estuaries that fall within their districts.
The 10 IFCAs are:
IFCAs have powers in regards to:
- boarding and inspecting vessels
- entering and inspecting premises, dwellings and vehicles
- inspecting documents
IFCAs have powers to make byelaws to manage sea fisheries resources within their districts and for wider environmental purposes - eg the protection of species and habitats from fishing activity.
Each IFCA governing committee is made up of:
- one seat each for representatives from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), the Environment Agency and Natural England
- elected representatives of county and unitary local authorities in the district
- members who understand the needs and opinions of the local fishing community, and who have knowledge of marine environmental matters