Kent and Essex IFCA work with partner organisations to survey juvenile fish in estuarine areas of the District. Estuaries are important nursery grounds for many commercial species and surveys allow KEIFCA to assess the potential supply of recruits to future stocks of commercial finfish species in the area. The majority of survey work takes place in collaboration with the Environment Agency in the River Medway. Surveys take place twice a year (spring and autumn) using seine nets at five regular sample sites. Sites range from moderately freshwater stretches of the Medway at its tidal limit near Allington Lock to the saline estuarine environments further downstream at Lower Upnor and the Isle of Grain at the mouth of the river. At each site, two seine hauls are conducted and all finfish caught are identified and measured. This data helps us to build a picture of the population dynamics and distribution of commercial species in the Medway. The identification of crucial habitats and locations that support the early stages of commercial species helps to inform future management and policy decisions.
KEIFCA officers pulling in a seine net
Herring caught and measured before being released in one of the River Medway Juvenile Fish Surveys