Fishermen will adapt in time
PUBLISHED: 02:01 02 July 2008 | UPDATED: 22:00 15 June 2010
I am writing in response to the issue on the 60 square miles ban on towed fishing gear on the sea bed in Lyme Bay (page 2, June 25). There is no such thing as a gentleman's agreement at sea. Therefore, to safeguard and preserve marine life (due to Devon W
I am writing in response to the issue on the 60 square miles ban on towed fishing gear on the sea bed in Lyme Bay (page 2, June 25).There is no such thing as a gentleman's agreement at sea. Therefore, to safeguard and preserve marine life (due to Devon Wildlife Trust and public persuasion) DEFRA has decided on a total ban on towed fishing gear. May I congratulate Devon Wildlife Trust and all those other concerned people who have campaigned for this unsustainable destructive method of fishing to be stopped once and for all in this area of Lyme Bay?Readers and all the citizens of this land need to know that we are all stakeholders of sea and seabed that surrounds our country; that it is not solely the property of commercial fishermen who go about their business destroying the fragile bio-diversity and rich marine life of a unique sea bed such as Lyme Bay.Towing scallop dredges and trawling gear across a sea bed devastates all marine life. It's rather like a farmer ploughing a field, the difference being that the fishermen don't put anything back in, they just take what isn't damaged and are quite happy to keep ploughing away until they have turned Lyme Bay into one big scallop field.It is also misleading to claim that it affects Weymouth and Beer fishermen as, to my knowledge, they don't tow gear across the sea bed. In fact, Beer fishermen will be elated as they won't have their crab pots smashed up or towed away by the scallopers!I do feel sorry for Steve Postles (who is a fisherman and restaurant owner), but I'm sure his business won't fold because of the ban, in fact, business may boom - due to hundreds of divers and anglers being attracted to a flourishing part of the Jurassic coast.The affected fishermen have to accept that, due to technical advances in fishing methods, powerfully propelled vessels and public concern of the environment has now become their demise. I am sure these fishermen won't go out of business but instead adapt to a more eco-friendly sustainable form of fishing. I would like to finish by saying it's a giant leap for marine-kind, a very brave step for future generations, and another learning curve for the fishermen-kind!Clive WilsonWessiters Drive Seaton
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