Fishing Industry Protocol for Archaeological Discoveries Online Now

Sussex fishermen can now report archaeological finds through the Fishing Industry Protocol for Archaeological Discoveries (FIPAD) online form.

On April 1st 2012, Wessex Archaeology launched the FIPAD on behalf of English Heritage.  Working in collaboration with the Sussex Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority (Sussex IFCA) the Protocol is a pilot project to help fishermen report any archaeological finds they come across during their work. The aim is that the protocol will eventually run nationally.

The UK’s fishing fleets are responsible for some of the most important archaeological discoveries of the past 40 years, with anything from Palaeolithic flints to modern shipwrecks snagged or dredged up in fishing gear.

Click here to report a find now

The online form is one of several hassle-free ways to report a find. You can report a find by either:

  • Clicking the Report Now button on the FIPAD website ( )
  • Printing out a Report Form and posting it to the “Fishing Protocol Team”
  • Telephoning 01722 326867 and ask for the “Fishing Protocol Team
  • Reporting your find directly to a FIPAD Contact at your land port. Click here for a list of FIPAD Contacts.

The FIPAD website ( also offers downloadable resources, which provide information on identifying archaeological finds, how to report them and what to do with a find after its discovery. Click here to visit our resource page.

This stone statue, possibly medieval in date, was reported during the preliminary development of the project.  A lobster fisherman discovered it in Chichester Harbour. The statue will soon be laser-scanned by a team at Bournemouth University, which may help date and identify the piece, as there are the faint traces of lettering across the bottom of the figurine.

The Fishing Protocol Team are at hand to deal with any reports and will make sure new discoveries are highlighted on the FIPAD website.  If you have questions or queries contact the team by email or phone.