THE HASTINGS FISHING FLEET will benefit from a newly designated Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) which protects the seabed from Beachy Head up to Hastings Pier.
The Beachy Head East 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 u10m boats with lighter gear and will not be restricted by the MCZ.
Commenting on the recent designation of the Beachy Head MCZ, Amber 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.
“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.”
Amber Rudd MP for Hastings and Rye has long engaged with the consultation process which 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, Amber received confirmation that the Hastings fleet would not be negatively affected by the MCZ. This was confirmed by the Hastings Fishermen’s Protection Society who announced that they were happy with the MCZ proposal.
Notes to the Editor:
- Amber is pictured with Paul Joy, local Hastings Fisherman.
- There are now 91 MCZs in waters around England as part of a wider drive from the Government to create a “blue belt” which protects marine life. Read more about Beachy Head East here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/marine-conservation-zones-beachy-head-east