With fishermen from Selsey across to Hastings now reporting dead or dying crabs in their pots, and growing complaints about sedimentation of traditional potting grounds east of the Solent and all the way to Kent, that has ‘all but killed off the lobster fishery’, further indications of sedimentation were reported last week by the Sussex Kelp Restoration Project.
The project has published initial results of a survey of fishermen and other marine users in Sussex (Fishing News, 17 February, ‘Sussex sedimentation survey launched’).
One hundred and twenty- nine people including fishermen, divers, free-divers and swimmers responded to the survey, with over two- thirds of respondents reporting increased sedimentation, variously described as ‘silty’ and ‘muddy’.
Respondents suggested a number of different causes for the increases, with ongoing dredging of Brighton Marina, with the spoils deposited directly into the nearby MPA, and wider dredge spoil dumping, seen as the major causes for concern.
FN contributor Geoffrey Lee, who undertook a recent trip on the Selsey potter Rapid Return, operated by Dan Langford, captured this picture of a dying crab. A full report of his trip, the survey results, and wider concerns about the apparent crustacean die-off, will be covered in FN shortly.
This story was taken from the archives of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here.