Outside body

Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority



As part of a much needed drive to reform inshore fisheries management, the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 requires all coastal authorities to work together in order to establish and fund Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authorities (IFCAs). The new IFCAs will replace the existing Sea Fisheries Committees.

In the South West this means that a new Devon and Severn IFCA will be established which will cover the Devon coast, both north and south, and the Severn as far as the tide flows. This will replace the existing Devon Sea Fisheries Committee and will introduce inshore fisheries management to the Severn.

The new Devon and Severn IFCA will be established on 1 October 2010 with limited powers, and will be fully functional from 1 April 2011 across England.

The existing Devon Sea Fisheries Committee will cease to exist as of 31 March 2011.

Key Roles of the Devon & Severn IFCA

Under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, and subsequent enabling Orders, the Devon & Severn IFCA will have the following key roles:

·       to manage the exploitation of fisheries resources occurring in their districts in a sustainable way.

·       to pay greater consideration to the wider environmental impacts of fishing activity and also consider the social and economic benefits of managing the exploitation of sea fisheries resources in certain ways.

·       The Devon and Severn IFCA will have the power to make byelaws for the management of sea fisheries resources within their districts as well as for wider environmental purposes as the protection of species and habitats from fishing activity.

·       to carry out an important role in enforcing the full range of marine environmental legislation with a maximum penalty for offences of £50,000.

·       To carry out these roles for the waters which extend around the coastline of Devon and Severn, out to six nautical miles and in estuaries where the IFCA will have responsibility for sea fisheries management previously carried out by the EA. In the Tamar, the boundary between the Devon and Severn IFCA and the Cornwall IFCA will be down the middle of the River Tamar, then out across Plymouth Sound and down an line drawn through the West end of Plymouth Breakwater out to the 12 nautical mile limit.

·       The Devon and Severn IFCA is required to keep proper accounts and publish both an annual plan and a report.

·       The expenses incurred by the Devon and Severn IFCA will be defrayed by the relevant councils according to the formula as set out in the Order. However, the relevant councils have the power to veto the proposed budget for any year.

·       Despite being an unincorporated body, the IFC authority is capable of making contracts, bringing proceedings under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 in its own name and bringing or defending any other proceedings in its own name.

·       No member or employee of an IFC authority acting in good faith, will be liable for anything done in connection with, the discharge of the authority’s functions.

·       Membership of the Devon and Severn IFCA is set out in the creation Order and requires a joint committee of all the coastal local  authorities in the Devon and Severn IFCA to be established.


Membership of the Devon and Severn IFC Authority

The Authority will consist of 30 members of which 12 will be coastal authority members and will be appointed according to the table below. Membership levels reflect the level of financial contribution

18 of the general members will be persons appointed by the Marine Management Organisation and the environmental agencies.


Relevant Council

No of members

Plymouth City Council


North Somerset District Council


Somerset County Council


Bristol City Council


Devon County Council


Torbay Council


South Gloucestershire Council


Gloucestershire County Council


Total Council



There will be approximately 4 – 6 half day meetings per year, likely to be in a central location such as Taunton or Tiverton.


Officer support will be provided through the Development Planning Team of the Place Directorate.


The work of the Devon and Severn IFCA will link strongly with that of the Tamar Estuaries Consultative Forum and with coastal planning issues in general.


Contact information

Matt Mander

Our representatives