The Inshore Potting Agreement (IPA) is a zonal and temporal fishery management system designed by inshore fisherman to reduce conflict between static gear (pots and nets) and towed gear (trawl and dredge) and is regulated through a fishing licence condition
After the 1970s there were improvements in gear and technology which allowed crabbers to leave their pots out for longer as the materials were more durable, and towed gear which had previously been unable to target this rougher ground came into competition for access to valuable fishing grounds.
Prior to the agreement, many static-gear fishermen experienced huge financial costs due to lost gear that was towed away or damaged.
“Supporting the coastal towns are fishing communities bound together by an industry-driven management system that has proved successful in so many ways. Where once there was conflict, there is now well-established collaboration within the industry and with scientists, government bodies and other stakeholders”
Holly Kaiser, Fishing News
The South Devon "Inshore Potting Agreement (IPA) was originally a Gentlemen's Agreement and represents one of the most innovate forms of fisheries management in the UK; a management regime with fishermen at it's heart."
South Devon & Channel Shellfishermen