|As the party season approaches, Dorset Wildlife Trust is urging people to make sealife-friendly choices when they book their festive meals. Christmas diners and retailers can help bring back a healthy and productive marine environment by choosing locally caught seafood, sourced responsibly and using environmentally sensitive fishing practices, according to DWT’s Living Seas team. Their Great Dorset Seafood campaign is already being taken up by restaurants and shops from Lyme Regis to Christchurch, all pledging to use high quality, low impact seafood harvested responsibly from Dorset’s coastal waters.
Emma Rance, Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Marine Conservation Officer, said: “Many Christmas menus include the more exotic and vulnerable seafood species. With tuna and swordfish, it’s difficult to be certain whether they have been caught overseas in regulated fisheries or by pirates. Other issues include bycatch, where endangered species of turtles, sharks and dolphins are caught accidentally upon long lines and drift nets. Nearer home, other species such as halibut or skate are also vulnerable to commercial fishing as they are slow to mature, long-lived and producing few young.”
We can all make a difference for our sea life
Conscientious sourcing of seafood involves an understanding of fishing techniques, biology and environmental impact. The Great Dorset Seafood campaign endorses provenance and regulated fisheries by recommending seafood that is fresh and locally caught, using more selective capture methods. These fishing practices are sensitive to the environment and provide high quality seafood. Diver-picked scallops and rod and line-caught bass and mackerel are among the ‘good’ seafood promoted by the campaign’s website.
Emma continued: “If you are looking for a Christmas party restaurant that serves good seafood, why not browse through our Great Dorset Seafood directory, with new outlets joining up all the time? The website also has information to help you choose when buying seafood to cook at home. Consumer pressure can be a powerful tool and they do say that the customer is always right! This is a way that every one of us can make a difference for our sea life.”
For the Great Dorset Seafood directory, information about seafood or to recommend a restaurant or shop, visit the Great Dorset Seafood website. You can also follow Great Dorset Seafood on Twitter @GtDorsetSeafood.
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Emma Rance at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
About Dorset Wildlife Trust www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk
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Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.
Good to eat: Dorset rod and line caught bass and diver-picked scallop by Emma Rance
Your festive fish choices could save dolphins: Bottlenose dolphin by Peter Tinsley