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.
MMO issues financial administrative penalties as an alternative to criminal prosecution. A penalty must be paid within 28 days to prevent prosecution in court. If a penalty is not paid within 28 days, the matter will go to court.
You have the right to have your offence dealt with in court so not paying the penalty is not an offence.
A written warning or a financial administrative penalty may not always be issued for a first or subsequent offence if MMO believes court proceedings are more suitable.
Repeat offending may result in increased penalties or an automatic referral for prosecution.
European law classifies breaches of fisheries rules into the following serious infringement categories:
does not hold a valid licence
has no registered flag state
fails to use compliant fishing gear
breaks conservation and management rules
does not properly record and report catches
fishes in a closed area
fishes for a stock which is subject to a moratorium or for which fishing is prohibited
falsifies or conceals its markings, identity or registration
conceals, tampers with or disposes of evidence relating to an investigation
obstructs an inspection or observation
takes on board undersized fish
works with fishing vessels identified as having engaged in Illegal, Unreported or
MMO will apply points to the fishing licence if a licence holder of an English-registered vessel is convicted of a serious infringement in a UK court. Offences committed in other member states will also be referred to the vessel’s relevant fisheries administration for the application of points.