Northumberland Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority (NIFCA) has announced that its chief executive officer is to retire next month, reports Paul Scott.

Mike Hardy will step down after almost 20 years at the helm, firstly with Northumberland Sea Fisheries Committee from 2003, and then NIFCA from 2011. He said it had been a ‘privilege and an honour’ to lead the organisation.

Mike Hardy (right) congratulates Mark Southerton on his promotion to the role of chief officer at Northumberland IFCA.

Mike Hardy (right) congratulates Mark Southerton on his promotion to the role of chief officer at Northumberland IFCA.

“Working alongside my NIFCA colleagues, members and stakeholders to champion and sustainably manage our inshore fisheries and marine environment is quite exceptional and unique,” he said.

Mark Southerton, the organisation’s chief enforcement officer, will take on the chief officer role as part of a new management structure that will be deployed in the New Year.

“NIFCA’s future is very bright under my successor,” said Mike Hardy. “Mark Southerton joined the Sea Fisheries Committee in 1995 and has been instrumental in supporting NIFCA’s strategic direction, and will continue to guide the authority, together with an exceptionally dedicated and able team around him.

“I look forward to receiving reports of them and NIFCA in general continuing to go from strength to strength.”

The NIFCA district covers an area from the mid-point of the river Tyne to the Scottish border, and extends six nautical miles out to sea along the Northumberland and North Tyneside coastline.

NIFCA chair Les Weller said: “I would like to thank Mike for his years of dedication. He has led the authority with integrity and commitment, and under Mike’s leadership, NIFCA has kept pace, helping to balance the needs of our delicate marine environment with the social and economic needs of the NIFCA district, for the betterment of our communities.

“Mike’s contributions have positioned NIFCA well for continued success, and will always be valued.

“On behalf of our board, we thank him and wish him well in his well-deserved retirement.”

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here


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