Kent & Essex Sea Fisheries Committee

Lastest News
Job Opportunities
Job Descriptions and Personal specifications
The District
Fishing within the district
The Thames cockle fishery
Introduction to Byelaws
Byelaws - Cockles
Byelaws - Shellfish
Byelaws - Fin Fish
Byelaws - Fishing Vessels
Byelaws - Nets
Minimum Fish Sizes
Contact Us

Welcome to the Kent & Essex Sea Fisheries Committee Website




The Committee has established as its principle aim:-

To manage, regulate, develop and protect the fisheries within the area of the Kent and Essex Sea Fisheries District with a view to balancing the needs of the fisheries and the sustainability of the marine environment, both now and in the future.


About us


The Committee's Sea Fisheries district covers an area of over 1,200 square statute miles and extends from Dungeness in Kent to the northern boundary of Essex on the River Stour.   The Sea Fisheries District extends into the Thames Estuary up to Mucking Creek and seaward to the 6 mile limit, which due to drying sand banks extends up to 15 miles offshore.


The Committee is, in common with all other Sea Fisheries Committees, a regulating body and has powers under the Sea Fisheries Regulation Act 1966 to make byelaws to be observed within its District.   In addition to enforcing its own byelaws the Sea Fisheries Committee also enforces national and EU legislation relating to Sea Fisheries within its District.


In addition the Committee is also responsible for The Thames Estuary Cockle Fishery Order 1994 and the River Roach Oyster Fishery Order 1992.

How does the Committee work?


The Kent and Essex Sea Fisheries Committee is one of twelve such Committees and was established by Statutory Order made in May 1890.  The Committee comprises representatives from five Local Authorities within its area, together with 9 members appointed by Defra and 1 member appointed by The Environment Agency.   The total membership of the Committee is 22.


The principal enforcement functions of the Committee relate to minimum landing sizes for fish and shellfish, the management of the cockle fishery, mesh size requirements for fishing gear and specifications for the setting of fixed nets and pots. The Committee can make byelaws to address local fisheries management issues (subject to confirmation by Defra).


The staff complement comprises of 1 Chief Fishery Officer, 1 Fishery Officer (Kent), 2 Fishery Officers (Essex), 4 Crew/Fishery Officers (who crew the offshore patrol vessel), an Office Manager, and 2 part time Clerical Assistants.  This is spread over two sites, with the main office in Ramsgate and the second office in Brightlingsea.