Over 200 signatures were collected in Bridport last Saturday morning for a petition by the Marine Conservation Society calling on the Government to introduce Highly Protected Marine Areas, or No-Take Zones, which would protect threatened species and allow fishing stocks to recover. Members of Bridport Environment Group also collected 40 signed letters in support of the Government’s Marine Bill White Paper, which plans to establish a network of Marine Protected Areas in UK waters.

Damaged undersized scallops The issue has been highlighted recently by the presence at West Bay of a number of scallop-dredging trawlers using mobile dredging gear, which land their catches at the harbour every evening.

“A No-take Zone would only cover a very small area of Lyme Bay,” explained Susan Anders, Chair of the Environment Group.  “We want to support local fishermen using less damaging methods, because their livelihood is also threatened by the activities of a few.  We understand that some sort of voluntary agreement may be in place, but it is unclear how effective this is. Above all we want the Government to make it clear it will act decisively to stop this continuing devastation.”

Next Meeting (12 June 2007)

At the next meeting of the Bridport Environment Group, which is open to members and non-members, freelance journalist Horatio Morpurgo, in a talk called 'From Rospuda With Love', will explore two of the biggest environmental protests of recent years in Eastern Europe - against an open-cast gold mine in western Transylvania (Romania) and a motorway crossing the Rospuda Valley, in eastern Poland. These campaigns, he suggests, offer valuable perspectives on how the Europes, 'old' and 'new', might come to understand each other better.

The meeting will be held at Mountfield next Tuesday, 12 June, at 5. 30 pm.

Comments  

 
#1 dragon 12-06-2007 10:29
I Have been diving in and around the areas of West Bay and Lyme Regis on and off for the past twenty years, often bringing divers here from the club i was a member of before i moved here. These Scallopers destroy everything there is on the seabed for miles.The seabed is a barren desert after they have been through, not even a live hermit crab would survive, and then, suddenly you come to a massive pile of stones and debris, which is all they ever put back into the sea! There are areas of extreme beauty with Devon cup corals and fan coral and fan worms,rose coral etc etc but those areas are now almost gone, because these \""""seabed vacuum machines take the lot and go further and further into the famous reef sites such as East and West Tennants, Benny\'s wrecksite, and even the popular area around the Baygitano, a mile and a half from Lyme is becoming smaller and smaller due to the invasion of these destructive boats. The thing is, they proudly boast that their families have earned their livings this way for generations! Well, the coalminers used to say that, so did British Gas workers, BT workers etc etc, they all thought they had a right to a job for life. Well we all live in the real world, and the sooner these \""""fishermen\"""" realise that it cannot go on forever,if you dont replace what you take, it will disappear, and the fact they are destroying other life forms with their 24/7 5 or 6 days a week scalloping trips in Lyme Bay, there will sadly be nothing left , please, this world belongs to all of us, not just the greedy careless members of the population, LEAVE OUR SEABED ALONE AT LEAST FOR A WHILE
 
 
#2 Rustic 12-06-2007 20:01
Good points Dragon albeit about thirty years too late but that is not your fault, it has been succesive European goverments refusing to do anything about it. It is pointless appealing to comercial fishermen as they have shown over the years that they are a bit thick when it comes to basic maths, ie, keep taking stuff out and eventually it will be empty. The same thing happened to the cod fisherries in the 60s and 70s has happened with the herring and most other fish that used to swim in the North sea and will be evcen worse as people are taking a million tonnes a year of sand eels now which are pulped and used as fish meal and fertiliser. If there is nothing for the fish to eat then there will be no fish. It all comes down to greed in the end. Sad but true.
 

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