Back to top


Overview of regulations relating to oyster dredging.

(a) No person or vessel shall tow or operate any dredge or dredges with an aggregate width of blade or front edge that exceeds 4 metres when dredging or fishing for oysters in any public fishery within the district.

(b) No person shall remove from any public fishery within the IFCA any oysters that will pass through a circular ring of 7.0 centimetres in internal diameter. This requirement shall not apply to the pacific rock oyster, (Crassostrea gigas).

The provisions of this byelaw are without prejudice to any historic right of Several Fishery, Act of Parliament, Royal Charter or other rights that exist within the District as referred to in Section 6(a) of the Sea Fisheries Regulation Act 1966 except the private fishery rights held by the Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.

This Byelaw provides the Authority with the ability to balance the requirements of the designated features of the Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Colne Estuaries Marine Conservation Zone with the needs of persons harvesting native oysters within the same area to secure a sustainable marine eco-system and local socio-economic environment. The Byelaw introduces flexibility in the way that the Authority manages effort directed towards the native oyster fishery within the Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Colne Estuaries Marine Conservation Zone. All persons will be limited in the technical specifications of the vessel and gear that can be used, the areas and times which can be worked and a daily catch limit of native oysters. The flexible permit conditions will be reviewed when necessary on the basis of best available evidence and within a time period not exceeding three years.

To download a copy of the byelaw click here

No person shall remove any oyster cultch from any oyster ground.

For the purpose of this byelaw “cultch” shall be taken to mean the shells of dead molluscs and any other material suitable for the reception of oyster spat.