Description

Fishing using fixed or drift nets, including T and J nets

Key locations

South side of Holy Island, fixed nets at Seahouses (north side of the harbour), the Aln at Boulmer and fixed nets for Goswick Sands

Frequency

Season is March 26th-August 31

Potential issues

Bycatch and entanglement of other species including sea birds

Features of Marine Protected Areas which might be affected

Birds

Legal Responsibilities or Duties (England)

A number of legal powers, duties or regulatory tools exist which are relevant to this activity and its management. These are summarised in the table below:

Legal Power, Duty or Regulatory Tool Relevant Legislation Lead Organisation
Quotas and minimum landing sizes EU Common Fisheries Policy Marine Management Organisation
IFCA Bylaw making powers

 

Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (Sections 155-162) Northumberland IFCA
EA Bylaw making powers Water Resources Act 1991 (Section 115) Environment Agency
Regulation of capture of migratory freshwater fish Scotland Act 1998 (River Tweed Order) 2006 River Tweed Commission
Regulation of capture of salmon and sea trout (south of Tweed and Eyemouth fisheries district): Net Limitation Order 2012 (made under the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975) Environment Agency
MMO Bylaw making powers for European Marine Sites The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (Regulation 40) Marine Management Organisation
Requirement for Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA)

 

The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (Regulation 63) All Competent or Responsible Authorities as defined by the Regulation.
Requirement for SSSI Consent, Assent or Advice

 

Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) (Section 28) Natural England
Duty on Public Authorities to consider the effect of proposed activities
on MCZs before authorising them
Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (Section 126) All Public Authorities
Powers for creation of Bylaws on MCZs Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (Section 129) Marine Management Organisation

Details of Current Management (England)

Capture of migratory freshwater species (salmon and sea trout) on the north Northumberland coast is regulated under the Scotland Act 1998 (River Tweed) Order 2006 by the River Tweed Commission (RTC), whose Tweed and Eye Fisheries District stretches from just north of Cockburnspath in Berwickshire, down to just north of Holy Island in Northumberland, and out to five kilometres offshore.

D rift, T & J netting have different regulations north of Holy Island in the Tweed District and are, again, determined by The Scotland Act 1998 (River Tweed) Order 2006. Within the district, drift netting is banned but T and J nets are allowed from the beach. Drift netting for salmon is not permitted within the district. The season is from Sept 15th – Feb 14th and there is a weekly closed time from 6pm on Friday to 6am on Monday.

South of the Tweed and Eye Fisheries District, the Environment Agency (EA) regulates the capture of salmon and sea trout. The North East Net Limitation Order (NLO) governs the number of drift and beach (T and J) nets licensed to catch fish along the Yorkshire and North East coast. The order was renewed in 2012 and will see the phasing out of net licences over time. EA introduced a new salmon and sea trout bylaw which came into force on 1st January 2019. Under this bylaw:

  • Drift net fisheries are closed
  • The annual closed season for use of a licenced T or J net will run from 1 September till 25 March
  • All T and J nets are required to release any salmon caught but may continue to fish for sea trout

A copy of the bylaw can be viewed HERE

Northumberland Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority (NIFCA) is cross-warranted with the RTC and the EA and is mindful of unlawful activity in relation to RTC and EA regulations when out on patrol. NIFCA passes all relevant information and intelligence on to the RTC and the EA. Within the NIFCA district there are currently 24 T net licences and 8 drift net issued although not all of these are believed to be in active use.

The MMO has powers to create Bylaws to protect European Marine Sites and Marine Conservation Zones. These have not been used on the Northumberland coast but could but could be utilized in future to address any identified issues.

A useful note describing different fishing methods has been produced by the Marine Conservation Society.

Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA):

Commercial fishing is now a ‘plan or project’ under the Habitat Regulations and new activities will be subject to Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA).

Consents and Licences:

Consent or Assent from Natural England may be needed for certain activities on Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) including the placement of nets.

Statutory Duty to consider impacts on Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs):

Public authorities (including Local Planning Authorities) have a statutory duty to consider the effect of proposed activities on MCZs before authorising them and imposes restrictions on the authorisation of activities that may have a significant risk of hindering the conservation objectives of the site.

Gaps in Management (England)

None

Legal Responsibilities or Duties (Scotland)

A number of legal powers, duties or regulatory tools exist which are relevant to this activity and its management. These are summarised in the table below:

Legal Power, Duty or Regulatory Tool Relevant Legislation Lead Organisation
Quotas and minimum landing sizes EU Common Fisheries Policy Marine Scotland
Regulation of capture of migratory freshwater fish

 

Scotland Act 1998 (River Tweed Order) 2006 River Tweed Commission
Requirement for Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA)

 

The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 (Regulation 48) All Competent or Responsible Authorities as defined by the Regulation.
Requirement for SSSI Consent or Advice

 

Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 (Sections 13-17) Scottish Natural Heritage
Biodiversity Duty on Public Bodies Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act (2004) (Section 1) Duty on all public bodies

Relevant Guidance, Plans or Codes (Scotland)

Name Description Responsible Organisation Statutory or Non-Statutory?
Scotland’s National Marine Plan

 

 

 

 

The plan covers the management of both Scottish inshore waters (out to 12 nautical miles) and offshore

 

The Scottish Government

 

Statutory

[Marine (Scotland) Act 2010]

Details of Current Management (Scotland)

Drift, T or J netting are not currently known to take place on the Berwickshire coast. If it were to be proposed the following considerations would apply:

Capture of migratory freshwater species (salmon and sea trout) on the north Northumberland coast is regulated under the Scotland Act 1998 (River Tweed) Order 2006 by the River Tweed Commission (RTC), whose Tweed and Eye Fisheries District stretches from just north of Cockburnspath in Berwickshire, down to just north of Holy Island in Northumberland, and out to five kilometres offshore.

A useful note describing different fishing methods has been produced by the Marine Conservation Society.

Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA):

Commercial fishing is now a ‘plan or project’ under the Habitat Regulations and new activities will be subject to Habitat Regulations Appraisal (HRA).

Consents and Licences:

Consent from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) may be needed for certain activities on Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) including placement of nets.

Biodiversity Duty:

Under the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act (2004), all public bodies in Scotland are required to further the conservation of biodiversity when carrying out their responsibilities. This includes coastal and marine biodiversity where relevant to the functions of the public body. The Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act (2011) requires public bodies in Scotland to provide a publicly available report, every three years, on the actions which they have taken to meet this biodiversity duty.

Gaps in Management (Scotland)

None