A new Nearshore Trawling Byelaw for Sussex has been approved yesterday by Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs George Eustice.
The introduction of the new byelaw will see fishing methods using trawl gear banned throughout the year covering large areas along the entire county’s coast close to the shoreline.
According to Sussex IFCA the news measures will allow essential habitats such as kelp forests to regenerate.
The Sussex IFCA say:
“Sussex seas are now better protected for generations to come thanks to new progressive management of trawling. The Sussex Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority’s new Nearshore Trawling Byelaw has been approved by the Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. Trawling is now banned throughout the year in large areas along the Sussex coast to allow habitats to regenerate.
“The new management measures are intended to help safeguard the habitats that ensure sustainable inshore fisheries into the future. The area includes a large area out to 4km between Selsey and Shoreham by Sea, which until the late 1980s held extensive kelp forests that in turn supported abundant marine wildlife including important commercial fish species such as bass, black seabream, lobster and cuttlefish.
“The new trawling restrictions will also encompass the Marine Conservation Zone known as ‘Selsey Bill & the Hounds’.
“The Authority’s new measures reflect an ecosystem approach toward fisheries management, recognising the importance of healthy marine habitats in supporting long term healthy commercial and recreational fisheries. In addition to the fisheries benefits that recovering kelp forests provide, coastal kelp beds help combat climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (carbon sequestration), reduce coastal erosion by absorbing wave energy and provide a haven for wildlife.
“Sussex IFCA will be working with our partners and the community to raise awareness of the importance of marine habitat protection and its links to sustainable fisheries.”
See the full byelaw here.