Updates & Events

On this page you will find updates and links to the work of the AIFCA, including information on available funding and forthcoming events.



AIFCA Project Updates


£6.1 million Fisheries and Seafood Scheme (FASS) funding rounds open for applications (Closing date for applications is 6 October 2021)
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has opened four funding rounds for applications to help support the fishing and seafood sector in England. The grants will match fund projects in four areas: to support businesses trading in Live Bivalve Molluscs (LBMs); to contribute towards protecting the marine environment; to deliver world class science and technological advancements; and support or enhance the recreational sea fishing sector.

£24 million for cutting-edge science and fisheries (11 September 2021)
The UK government announced the first investment from the £100 million UK Seafood Fund to boost science and innovation in the fishing industry. Fishing businesses across the UK will now have access to £24 million of investment to develop technology, trial new gear and support world-class research to improve the productivity and long-term sustainability of the industry. 

The Fisheries Industry Science Partnerships (FISP) scheme and the existing Seafood Innovation Fund will share the funding allocated to the science and innovation part of the UK Seafood Fund. FISP will collect data to improve and share knowledge of fisheries and aquaculture to support sustainable fisheries management. This will be done through collaboration between the fishing and seafood industry and research institutes. The FISP scheme will open on 18 October 2021.

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Ocean Stewardship Fund 2022 is now open for applications (17 September. Application deadlines vary)
The Fund offers over £1 million in grants dedicated to support sustainable fishing worldwide. Fisheries, scientists, NGOs, and postgraduate students are invited to apply for grants of up to £50,000 each, available across four different strands of funding.


Institute of Fisheries Management Annual Conference - Future Challenges

WHEN November 24-25 2021

WHERE National Oceanographic Centre Southampton

a fantastic programme of talks that incorporates sessions from the freshwater, transitional and marine environments. Conference sessions, including from the IFCAs, will cover a wide range of topics over the three days including

  • Policy Developments
  • Habitat and Challenges (double session)
  • Climate Change
  • Technology in Fisheries
  • Invasive Species Impacts
  • Passage and Migration
  • Technology - Monitoring

Future of Fisheries: Creating a World-Class, Sustainable Fisheries Management Structure in UK Waters ONLINE Event

WHEN Tuesday 7th December 2021

The Association of IFCAs is speaking at Westminster Insight’s inaugural Future of Fisheries Digital Event taking place on Tuesday 7th December 2021. 

Westminster Insight delivers open forums on public policy and private sector issues, in which delegates hear from experts, senior figures, and inspiring practitioners in their given sectors.  They are designed as useful learning and networking experiences, in which delegates can hear about, for example: policy initiatives, best practice, pilot schemes, trailblazers, and useful case studies.

Robert Clark the Chief Officer is speaking on Securing a Profitable and Sustainable Future for the UK’s fishing Industry

  • Assessing the key economic, social and environmental benefits and cost of adopting a sustainable fisheries management system
  • Identifying actions to maintain healthy fish stocks, marine environment and support long-term sustainable growth
  • Applying a transdisciplinary approach to sustainable fisheries management
  • Improving the social and economic sustainability of coastal communities

Inviting speakers and key note presentations include Rt Hon George Eustice MP, Secretary of State (SoS), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), representatives from

For further information and for booking and attendance information please visit; Westminster Insight : Future of Fisheries: Creating a World-Class, Sustainable Fisheries Management Structure in UK Waters

Coastal Futures 2022 Innovation for Ocean Recovery ONLINE Event 

WHEN 18-20th January 2022

The Association of IFCA will be presenting to Coastal Futures 2022. The Organisers of the Coastal Futures and Restoring Estuarine and Coastal Habitats (REACH) conferences have joined together to develop a major online conference. There will be 15 sessions & 6 keynotes covering a wide range of major themes that relate to the way we are intending to restore and recover our coastal and marine environment.

The programme will be published at the beginning of November.

For further information and to book 

Next steps for UK fisheries ONLINE Event 

WHEN - Morning, Wednesday, 26th January 2022 

The AIFCA Chairman Tony Tomlinson MBE will be speaking at the 'Next Steps for UK fisheries' ONLINE event, hosted by the Westminster Forum. This conference will consider policy priorities for UK fisheries - including:

  • next steps for the Fisheries Act, moving on from the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, ­and prospects for improving sustainability and resilience in the sector
  • funding priorities for the sector, including replacing the EU European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, and the UK’s Shared Prosperity Fund
  • the way forward for the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) as it supports the UK in becoming an independent coastal state.
  • latest thinking on environmental practices and stewardship, and the future of Marine Protected Areas
for more details and registration follow this LINK 

AIFCA Project Updates

IFCA Funding

7th Septmeber 2021

It is anticipated that a government Spending Review will occur in Autumn. Ahead of such a review AIFCA and the IFCAs were invited, by Defra, to make a representation to Defra on the IFCA spending needs for the period 2021 to 2024. Accordingly, the AIFCA and the IFCAs, though their Chief Officers, considered the activities emerging from government policy where IFCAs would be expected or could reasonably be expected to helpfully contribute to policy implementation consistent with wider duties placed on the IFCAs.

A spending review or occasionally comprehensive spending review is a governmental process in the United Kingdom carried out by HM Treasury to set firm expenditure limits and, through public service agreements, define the key improvements that the public can expect from these resources.

As well as the emerging policy areas, we considered to adequacy of the capital expenditure arrangement and the effect of inflation on the grant received.  In summary the IFCAs submitted that;

  • The IFCAs require significant investment if the government is to deliver a “world leading system of fisheries management” whilst delivering the most ambitious environmental programme of any country on earth,
  • To only account for the erosion of the value of the support provided to local authorities to deliver their new burdens as a consequence of the Marine and Coastal Access Act, an increase in the grant from £3.3 million to £5.1 million is required.
  • We identified that an additional investment of £1.85 million is required to deliver the additional IFCA responsibilities.
  • The replacement for the EU control and enforcement fund needs to provide resources for the IFCAs to replace and renew their patrol and research vessel fleet (noting that this funding route was identified in the original Marine and Coastal Act, 2010 Impact Assessment; and the capital replacement costs were excluded from the New Burdens arrangements).

Highly Protected Marine Areas UPDATE

7th September 2021

The AIFCA is a member of the HPMA delivery group. The AIFCA has been awarded a grant from Defra to support the IFCAs engagement in that process and is supporting the development of socio-economic criteria to select pilot HPMAs.

Ecological Criteria. JNCC and NE are currently in the process of identifying locations for potential HPMAs based on the ecological criteria as well as reviewing 3rd party proposals. Once JNCC and NE have identified and ranked potential sites they will be providing Defra with advice on a list of sites that meet the ecological criteria.

Socio Economic Criteria. The process for shortlisting HPMA pilot sites includes application and assessment of social and economic criteria. Drawing on recommendations from the Benyon Review, the AIFCA has worked with Defra and MMO to develop an initial list of social and economic criteria for shortlisting. The next step is to share this initial list with stakeholders and gather their feedback to assist us in developing and refining further. In particular, stakeholder input would be valuable in ensuring the full potential range of impacts is captured, appropriate measurement definitions and potential evidence sources.

Recreational Fishing and HPMA Buffer Zones. Following the Government’s response to the Benyon Review, and work undertaken to understand the impacts of Recreational Sea Angling (RSA) on Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) and vice versa, further work is now required to better understand the potential for spatial management strategies for managing RSA around HPMAs, i.e. zoning, in English waters.

A literature review has been commissioned and views from regulators and members of the RSA community to discuss the feasibility of potential buffer option(s), highlight issues and the potential role of the RSA community in buffer zones.

More information can be found on the JNCC website Highly Protected Marine Areas | JNCC - Adviser to Government on Nature Conservation

Towards Regional Fisheries Management Plans. AIFCA project UPDATE

7th September 2021

The AIFCA has developed a project to support IFCAs engagement in the development of Fisheries Management Plans (FMPs). By way of background The Fisheries Act, 2020 requires that the fisheries policy authorities must prepare and publish a Joint Fisheries Statement (JFS). The JFS must contain a list of fisheries management plans that the fisheries policy authorities propose to prepare and publish detailing the stock or stocks of sea fish, the type or types of fishing and the geographical area or areas to which the plan will relate, as well as a timetable for preparation and publication. The list of fisheries management plans must be prepared by 23rd November 2022.6

An FMP must set out policies designed to achieve sustainable levels of exploitation. The requirement for FMPs raises many questions for IFCAs in terms of how their operations, byelaws and research are undertaken.

This research will aid the characterisation of principal bivalve and crustacea fisheries in England using social, economic and ecological criteria and providing proposals for how they are grouped and prioritised within the new FMP frameworks. Using case studies to highlight best practice (or worst practise) will enable the development of coherent management based on the different criteria and geographical extent of the fishery.

The outputs from the project will be primarily aimed at IFCAs themselves in identifying how they need to adapt and evolve operations although the successful delivery of FMPs will require close collaboration between MMO, Cefas, Defra and fisheries organisations.

The project is undertaken by IFCAs with the support of the New Economics Foundation acting as a consultant to the project. The project is joint funded from a grant from The Fishmongers Company and Defra. The project is due to report in October 2022. 

Championing Coastal Coordination Funding

2nd September 2021

The Championing Coastal Coordination (3Cs) project is an Environment Agency initiative with support from Natural England, the Marine Management Organisation and the Association of Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities. 

Expressions of Interest ae being sort for the EA’s Championing Coastal Coordination (3Cs) funding. There are three themes:

  • Coordinating planning and delivery of locally owned plans and place-based initiatives
  • Coastal champions to strengthen capacity and capability in local stewardship
  • Restoration and recovery of natural habitats 

Applicants need to be charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institutions. Deadline for application is 30 September 2021. For further information and application forms, please contact 3cs@environment-agency.gov.uk

AIFCA Survey - Celebrating 10 Years - Findings Report Published 

14th July 2021

The Association of IFCAs has published a report on the findings of a survey of the members of the IFCAs. The purpose of the survey was to engage with IFCAs and recieve feedback from the IFCA membership on their experience as an IFCA member and to seek IFCA members views on the role of and potential improvements to the Association of IFCAs.

The survey was in three parts, the first part concerning the experience of IFCA membership, the second;  the role of the AIFCA and the third part regarding future engagement with the IFCA members.

The report will be used to inform the future strategy of the AIFCA and form the basis of recommendations to the Members Forum of the AIFCA.

The report is available HERE