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 of Activity

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

Organisations with relevant management powers or responsibilities

Organisation Description of powers or responsibilities
Marine Scotland ·         Fisheries enforcement

·         Fishing vessel licencing

·         Byelaw making powers

Marine Management Organisation ·         Fisheries enforcement

·         Fishing vessel licencing

·         Byelaw making powers

Northumberland Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority ·         Fisheries enforcement

·         Byelaw making powers

River Tweed Commission ·         Regulation of capture of migratory freshwater fish (salmon and trout)
Environment Agency ·         Regulation of capture of migratory freshwater fish (salmon and trout)
NatureScot ·         Consenting of activities within SSSIs
Natural England ·         Consenting of activities within SSSIs

 

Relevant Legislation (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:

Legislation Relevant Power or Duty Lead Organisation(s)
Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (Sections 155-162) Power for IFCAs to create and enforce Bylaws Northumberland IFCA
Water Resources Act 1991 (Section 115) Power for the Environment Agency to make and enforce  Bylaws Environment Agency
Scotland Act 1998 (River Tweed Order) 2006 Regulation of capture of migratory freshwater fish River Tweed Commission
Net Limitation Order 2012 (made under the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975) Regulation of capture of salmon and sea trout (south of Tweed and Eyemouth fisheries district): Environment Agency
  Power for the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) to create of fisheries Bylaws to conserve marine habitats or species  
The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (Regulation 40)

 

(As modified by the Conservation of Habitats and Species (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019)

Power for Marine Management Organisation (MMO) to make Bylaws on European Marine Sites Marine Management Organisation
Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (Section 129)

 

Powers for the MMO to create of Bylaws on Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs)

 

 

Marine Management Organisation
The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (Regulation 63)

 

(As modified by the Conservation of Habitats and Species (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019)

Requirement for all Competent Authorities to undertake a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) before giving authorisation for plans or projects on European sites

 

DEFRA
Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) (Section 28) Requirement to seek for Consent, Assent or Advice before undertaking certain activities on SSSIs

 

Natural England
Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (Section 126) Duty on all Public Authorities to consider the effect of proposed activities
on MCZs before granting authorisations
Marine Management Organisations

Relevant Legislation (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:

Legislation Relevant Power or Duty Lead Organisation(s)
Scotland Act 1998 (River Tweed Order) 2006 Regulation of capture of migratory freshwater fish River Tweed Commission
The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 (Regulation 48)

(as modified by The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment) Regulations 2019)

Requirement for all Competent Authorities to undertake a Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA) before giving authorisation for plans or projects on European sites Scottish Government
Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 (Sections 13-17) Requirement to obtain the consent of NatureScot before carrying out certain activities on SSSIs NatureScot
Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act (2004) (Section 1) Duty on Public Bodies to further the conservation of biodiversity when carrying out their functions Scottish Governement

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 (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, Marine Conservation Zones, or to regulate sea fisheries to conserve marine habitats and species. 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.

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 NatureScot 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 Knowledge or Management (England)

The designation of a network of Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) in England was recommended by the Benyon Report in 2020. The Government have committed to identifying pilot HPMAs in English waters by 2022. The process of identifying and consulting on the locations of pilot HPMAs is still ongoing.

Gaps in Knowledge or Management (Scotland)

None