To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will take steps to issue guidance for Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authorities on administering the test in relation to sea bass in s.157(2)(b) of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009; and if his Department will consult with Fish Legal in the development of that guidance.
Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs) are independent statutory authorities, directly responsible for managing sea fisheries resources in their districts sustainably. The Secretary of State does not have a role in confirming emergency byelaws; rather, each IFCA is empowered to decide to introduce an emergency byelaw and whether it meets the qualifying criteria set out in section 157(2) of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. Defra has supported the IFCAs by providing best practice guidance on IFCA byelaw-making, including emergency byelaws made under section 157, which is accessible via the GOV.UK and IFCA websites. Defra has not received further requests for clarification from the IFCAs regarding the current statutory guidance on the qualifying criteria.