Morecambe Bay Seed Mussel Fishery Update 2023

In preparation for potential seed fisheries, NWIFCA is inviting applications for a dredge permit. The fishery is subject to HRA approval and agreement from the Technical Science and Byelaws Subcommittee, however, due to time sensitivities of this resource, applications are open to industry to give time for necessary preparations.

Hand Gathered Seed Fisheries

Heysham Flat Mussel Bed

This year, Heysham mussel bed has received a dense mussel seed settlement across the main bed. An area of historical Sabellaria reef lies to the south and extends out from Conger Rock which will be excluded from the proposed seed fishery.

Final inspections are taking place early August and full inspection details along with the permitted fishing area will be made available once complete.

When and How Can I Fish?

Dependent on the outcome of HRA consultation, NWIFCA will put out a notice to fishers, informing them of an update to the flexible permit conditions that facilitate hand gathering at Heysham.

Seed Dredge Fisheries

Early 2023 inspections have shown the main seed fishing beds at Fleetwood and South America have received dense seed mussel settlements and have the potential to be opened to seed dreding. The Falklands has not yet been inspected.

There have been limited tides suitable for inspecting these mussel beds until the beginning of August. An update on South America, Perch and Black Scar and Falklands will be given once inspections have been completed, and details of the permitted fishing areas made available.

When and How Can I Fish?

NWIFCA encourages those interested in the fishery to apply for a permit under The Restrictions on the use of a Dredge Byelaw 2017. To apply please complete both the Dredge Permit Application Form and Seed Mussel Supplementary Form available below:

Download Dredge Permit Application 2023 (Microsoft Word docx file)

Seed Mussel Supplementary Form Dredge Permit Application 2023 (Microsoft Word docx file)

Please note, the opening of these fisheries is dependent on the outcome of HRA consultation and final inspections.

NWIFCA will contact applicants for payment once a decision on opening the fishery has been reached. If you do not wish to proceed with a permit at this point no payment will be taken.