The Isles of Scilly Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) has a number of statutory duties and responsibilities to ensure that the marine environment within the district is conserved and maintained in a viable state as set out in the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. The IFCA district extends six nautical miles seaward from the baseline, in total comprising over 406 square kilometres of sea
A patrol vessel (Matt Lethbridge) is currently used for a mixture of patrol and enforcement duties around the islands. It is also used to deploy scientific equipment such as drop down and towed video cameras. As a small organisation the vessel needs to be versatile and be able to perform a number of functions in different sea and weather conditions.
The Isles of Scilly, situated 28 nautical miles south west of Lands End, Cornwall, are a group of approximately 200 low-lying granite islands and rocks. There are many shallow areas between the islands, but the archipelago is very exposed to storms and Atlantic swells. The IFCA at sea operations are seasonal, and take place between March and November
Currently the Isles of Scilly IFCA operate a 7.2 metre open Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) which is limited in its range and the weather in which it can be operated safely. The replacement of the current patrol vessel with a RIB which has an enclosed wheelhouse and larger aft deck would ensure that the Isles of Scilly enforcement and scientific officers are able to carry out their duties to greater effect by extending the range and conditions in which the vessel could be operated in therefore increasing the ability of the Isles of Scilly IFCA to successfully manage ongoing and future scientific and enforcement activities.