As the Dorset Wildlife Trust welcomes a new bye law that will further help to protect rare marine wildlife in Dorset, the discussion arises as to whether this is enough, and if more needs to be done to protect these magnificent creatures and their habitats.
The new law will aim to build on previous legislation by further extending areas closed to mobile fishing such as trawling and dredging, which can be harmful to rare marine wildlife such as the Couch’s goby.
The Bottom towed fishing gear bye-law is a remake from a previous law passed in 2015, and will cover Dorset’s two Marine Conservation zones, Poole rocks and Chesil Beach, along with Stennis Ledges.
Dr Jean Luc Solandt, the Principal Specialist of Marine Protected Areas for the Marine Conservation Society, said that these closures “will definitely be good for wildlife, ecosystem services and some fisheries”. The approval of a leading figure from the Marine Conservation society must surely show the importance and impact that these provisions will have.
However, despite the positive effect this extension to protecting our marine wildlife in Dorset will have, does more still need to be done both in Dorset, and throughout the whole of the United Kingdom?
“Absolutely” was Dr Jean Luc Solandt’s reply to this question. He continued to say:” there should be much more of the seabed that is closed to scallop dredging, and heavy trawling. Only 1% of the seas of the UK currently has such bans”.
This is a startling statistic, and one which clearly shows how despite the protection of marine wildlife in Dorset is considered a priority and is acted upon regularly, there is a wider problem across the UK which clearly needs to be addressed.
Perhaps the Bottom towed fishing gear bye-law can act as a catalyst and spur on further protection of rare wildlife throughout Dorset and the rest of the UK.