Increases in the Legal Size of Whelk from November for commercial and recreational fishers with a D&S IFCA Potting Permit
Commercial and recreational fishers with a D&S IFCA Potting Permit will see a change in November 2020 regarding the Minimum Conservation Size (MCRS) of whelk.
The change will also apply to fishers with a Category One Mobile Fishing Permit.
A phased increase for the size of whelk began in 2018 when a table of sizes was incorporated into the Potting Permit Conditions and the Mobile Fishing Permit Conditions (Category 1).
The size of whelk increased in November 2018 to 55mm as measured along the length of the shell.
On 1st November 2020 the MCRS of whelk will increase to 65mm as measured along the length of the shell.
THE POTTING PERMIT CONDITION
Time Restrictions – Paragraph 4.3
A Permit Holder or Named Representative is only authorised to remove from a fishery within the District, whelk of a size specified in Table 1 as measured along the length of the shell.
Table 1 – Date & Size
1st November 2018 – 55mm
1st November 2020 – 65mm
GUIDANCE & RIDDLE SIZE
Having a riddle on board, or using one, is not a permit condition; however, in 2018 D&S IFCA issued a guidance note to the industry. This guidance note is still of use and helps to explain what riddle size fishers can choose to use in order to help sort their catch whist at sea.
For a 65mm shell height MCRS for whelk:
- With a riddle set to the average minimum width of 27mm approximately 7.9% of the retained catch would be undersize, while 8.8% of the sizeable catch could be lost.
- If the riddle is set to the average maximum width of 37mm, no undersize whelks would be retained but approximately 91% of the sizeable catch could be lost.
HOW AND WHY HAS THERE BEEN AN INCREASE IN SIZE
D&S IFCA conducted extensive research in 2015 and 2016 to determine the size of sexual maturity of the whelk. The findings from this research formed part of the evidence base. Consultation was conducted in 2018 that also informed the decision making of the Byelaw & Permitting Sub-Committee as part of a three-year review of the Potting Permit Conditions.
The findings from the consultations conducted during 2018 and the whole decision-making process leading to the changes was documented in a report that is posted on the D&S IFCA website (Resource Library) and can be read here.
The current permit conditions, that include the whelk size increase, can be viewed on the D&S IFCA website or by using the links below: