(Above) Public sector information licensed under the open government license v2
and contains data from open street map contributors (Below) Pink Sea Fans by Nick Owen
Dorset Wildlife Trust welcomes new proposals for prohibiting damaging fishing methods in high risk and sensitive seabed habitats and is supporting the proposed protection of European Marine Sites from mobile fishing.
Calls for closure to high impact fishing from 2014
The Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (Southern IFCA) who manage the entire Dorset, Hampshire and Isle of Wight coastline out to 6 nautical miles), have proposed a Bottom Towed Fishing Gear Byelaw to fully protect sensitive reef and seagrass habitats in European Marine Sites (EMS) from potentially damaging bottom towed fishing gear. In Dorset, these EMSs are Lyme Bay and Torbay candidate Special Area of Conservation (cSAC), Studland to Portland cSAC, Chesil and The Fleet SPA and SAC and Poole Harbour SPA. If the proposed byelaw is successful, this will mean 24.38% of the total Southern IFCA district area will be permanently closed to this high impact fishing from 2014.
'A great step forward in conservation'
Emma Rance, Marine Conservation officer said “This proposal represents a great step forward in conservation. Some rocky reef habitats that support the slow growing pink sea fan and various coral species receive irreversible damage when dredged or trawled and his byelaw will prevent any further damage and in doing so, maintain the health, productivity and economic value of the marine environment for future generations”
There are over 40 different commercial species caught in Dorset using a variety of fishing methods. Many of these methods are low impact and static such as rod and line, pots, traps and gill nets. A small number of mobile fishers operate in the county using trawls and dredges which are unselective and have potential to cause high impact upon the very habitats that this byelaw seeks to protect.
Traditional fishery through the Great Dorset Seafood campaign
The low impact traditional fishery is recommended through our Dorset Seafood campaign which facilitates links between fishers, retailers and consumers through choices, sourcing and information. Visitors to the Great Dorset Seafood website can search the recommendations on retailers, restaurants, Dorset fishers and seafood choices. The website also details conservation and fishery management measures.
Help us by speaking up!
Speak up for sea life! Dorset Wildlife Trust is calling for all Dorset residents who enjoy or rely on the Dorset coast to get active in marine conservation. Anyone can comment NOW on the Bottom Towed Fishing Gear Byelaw consultation. Closing date is 1st November.
For more information or to comment, please visit the Southern IFCA website, email or write to Southern IFCA 64 Ashley Road, Parkstone, Poole Dorset BH14 9BN.