Seabed protection brings benefits for Hastings’ fishing fleet

Protection for the seabed from Hastings Pier to Beachy Head will bring benefits for Hastings’ fishing fleet says the local MP.

A newly designated Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) will cover an area of 195km2 and ensures protected marine species are not destroyed or disrupted by harmful fishing methods. The Hastings Fishing Fleet is comprised of under ten metre boats with lighter gear and will not be restricted by the new MCZ.

MP Amber Rudd said: “This is a good result for Hastings fishermen as well as for our environment. We are striking the right balance between ensuring the traditional practices of the fleet are not affected, while also protecting endangered marine species.

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Paul Joy Chairman of Hastings Fishermen’s Protection Society with Amber Rudd MP.

“I am pleased that the Hastings Fishermen’s Protection Society have engaged so thoroughly in consultation with myself and DEFRA and have come away with the best outcome. It is important that our historic fleet’s sustainable practices are unaffected by the MCZ, while they will also benefit from the increase in marine life due to the stopping of larger scale harmful fishing methods.”

Ms Rudd has been engaged in the consultation process for some time. That process concluded over the summer of 2018 to ensure the sustainable practices of the Hastings Fishing Fleet would not be impacted.

Following several letters and meetings with DEFRA Ministers, Ms Rudd received confirmation that the Hastings fleet would not be negatively affected by the MCZ which was confirmed by the Hastings Fishermen’s Protection Society who announced that they were happy with the MCZ proposal.

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