Kent & Essex Sea Fisheries Committee

Byelaws - Nets

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Small mesh trawl nets


The use by a vessel or vessels in the case of boats engaged in pair trawling of any demersal trawl net of a mesh size of less than 75mm may be prohibited if, in the opinion of the Committee:-


(i)  the use of such nets in any part of the District is damaging to immature fish stocks which, in the interests of the protection and development of any fishery, ought not to be disturbed by such gear for the time being; or


(ii) the discard of fish in compliance with Bycatch Regulations has a damaging effect on any   

other fishery within the District,


and prohibitions shall be notified in notices displayed at ports throughout the District, or, if the display of such notices is not practicable, the notice shall be published in a weekly newspaper circulating in the District.


For the purposes of this byelaw a demersal trawl shall mean any trawl designed to fish on the sea bed any part of which (including weights, wires, rope and net) is intended to be in contact with the sea bed during fishing operations.

Fixed nets


No fixed net shall be left uncleared for a period of more than 30 hours, although an exemption will be granted in the case of bad weather, illness of the crew or engine failure.  In the event of anticipated non-compliance, the Clerk of the Committee, the Head Fishery Officers for Essex and Kent or the Skipper of the Committee’s patrol vessel must be informed accordingly.


Each fleet of nets or, if set alone, each individual net shall be marked by a dahn buoy at each end, such dahn buoy extending at least 1.5 metres above the surface of the water when the pole is in vertical position and carrying a flag measuring at least 30 centimetres by 30 centimetres; all dahn buoys to be clearly marked with the name and address of the owner of the net, or the fishing vessel registration number of the vessel responsible for setting the net;


No net or fleet of nets shall exceed 1,000 metres in length.


For the purpose of this byelaw a fleet of nets is defined as a continuous line or group of nets, whether fixed together or not, set by one person or vessel.  The length of a net or fleet of nets shall be taken to be the distance between the dahn buoys marking each end of the net or fleet of nets as required under this byelaw.


Fishermen’s attention is drawn to the fact that various District Councils have their own byelaws relating to bathing beaches.

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