Fishermen warn bylaw could be costly

News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston
News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston

Fishermen fear that a new bylaw affecting the Wash could hit the industry by almost £400,000 and end trade in pink shrimp.

The Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) is applying to the Government to create a protected areas bylaw on parts of the Wash.

IFCA wants to restrict the use of bottom towed gear from dredging parts of the Wash to protect ross worms, eelgrass and boulders and cobbles. This new law could impact on the pink and brown shrimp fisherman who land catches in King’s Lynn and Boston.

It is estimated the plans could cost fisherman between £50,579 and £380,349.50.

The Great Wash Fishing Industry Group, which represents the Lynn and Boston fleets, wants talks with the IFCA. Chairman Andy Roper said: “We could the lose the ability to supply pink shrimp forever as one of the biggest fishing grounds is affected. We are trying to hold talks but there is not a lot of light at the end of the tunnel.”

He feels it is unfair to target fishermen when there are no restrictions on wind turbines to protect the seabed.

IFCA head of marine protection Julian Gregory said: “We are looking to get the right balance between protecting features and maintaining and supporting a viable fishing industry.”

The consultation will be running until Monday, November 11.