Call for fishing ban in two of Jersey's east coast bays

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FISHING should be banned along part of Jersey’s east coast, according to the Société Jersiaise’s marine biology section.

Following the creation of the Island’s first no-take zone in Portelet Bay, the organisation said a second area – incorporating the tidal bays of Archirondel and Anne Port – would protect, preserve and enhance the region and its surroundings.

The zone would also provide benefits for public, commercial, and scientific use of Jersey’s shore and waters, the organisation says in a submission for the government’s new marine spatial plan currently in development.

In April last year, States Members voted to create the first no-take zone at Portelet, prohibiting fishing in the bay and making it an offence to take marine species from the area, or to use a fishing boat in the protected space.

Former Assistant Environment Minister Gregory Guida said then that the new zone would help maintain fish stocks and ensure sustainable fisheries. He acknowledged the part that the heritage organisation, which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary, had played in the initiative.

‘In recent years, the marine biology section of the Société Jersiaise has championed the idea of putting in place a space for the study of unimpacted marine ecosystems, to monitor the recovery of species no longer subject to fishing pressures. The prospect of a no take zone was also considered and approved by the marine resources panel, which includes commercial and recreational fishing representatives,’ he said when the States approved the designation last April.

Now the Société’s marine section has written to propose a second such zone as part of a consultation currently taking place. They argue that the character and ecology of the Island’s rocky reefs and intertidal sediment flats are not to be found elsewhere in Europe, providing both a rich seashore and a sub-tidal environment of kelp, seagrass, and tide-swept sands and gravels.

‘Jersey is subject to a number of domestic and international legal obligations that require it to protect and preserve marine ecosystems.

‘These areas will be a vital tool to enable Jersey to deliver these obligations, and show leadership in the long-term protection and sustainable management of our precious marine environment.

‘No-take zones were proposed in the 2008 coastal zone strategy, and we would like this proposal to be considered as part of the current marine spatial plans,’ they argue.

Under the proposal an area constituting 0.76 of a square kilometre, about 0.03% of Jersey’s waters, would be designated a no-take zone.

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