Fishing will no longer be permitted in Jersey’s Portelet Bay, after its government voted to create the island’s first no-take zone (NTZ).

The zone has been designated with the aim of giving marine life in the area better protection, and to enable researchers to use the area as a ‘natural lab’. The new regulations, which came into effect from 2 May, mean it will become an offence to remove any marine species from the zone, or to use a fishing boat within it. Exceptions will be made for some scientific investigations.

The NTZ will be monitored for an initial five-year period to assess its benefits to fisheries and biodiversity. The bay was previously used by a number of lobster potters.

Assistant minister for the environment deputy Gregory Guida said: “By designating this zone at Portelet, the government and other key stakeholders will be able to use the bay for scientific research, which will give us further evidence to help maintain fish stocks and ensure sustainable fisheries.

“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.

“Moving forward, any fishing or taking of marine animals or seaweed will be an offence, and we’ll certainly be policing this to ensure the project is a success.”

This story was taken from the latest issue 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


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