Help Our Kelp

Kelp is the name given to a group of brown seaweeds; usually large in size, these plants are capable of forming dense aggregations known as 'kelp forests'.

Historically, kelp was abundant along the West Sussex coastline, but this important habitat has diminished over time, leaving just a few small patches and individual plants, mostly in shallow water and along the shoreline. Through the Help Our Kelp partnership, we want to bring it back!

Sussex kelp 1980 - present

Current Work

The first step towards restoration is to put some management in place. Whilst there are a number of factors which may be affecting the kelp, one manageable factor is fishing effort. The Sussex IFCA are currently proposing management of bottom-towed fishing gear in the near-shore area. The proposed ban aims to alleviate the pressure from this type of fishing on the habitat used by the kelp, giving it some breathing space to regenerate.

Sussex IFCA proposed trawling exclusion zone

Help Our Kelp Latest

Almost 2500 people who voiced their support for an ambitious Kelp forest restoration project off the coast of West Sussex. Thank you to everyone for their support.

The consultation has now closed and the responses are being considered by the Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority. The consultation covered the introduction of a new bylaw to restrict trawling which will encourage the natural regeneration of the Kelp forest. A decision will be taken on the new bylaw at the next Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority Committee meeting on 23 January 2020.

If approved by the Committee, the new bylaw will be passed to the Secretary of State at Defra to be signed before coming into effect.

We will keep you updated on the progress of the new bylaw after the meeting on 23 January.

Get Involved

Almost 2500 people who voiced their support for an ambitious Kelp forest restoration project off the coast of West Sussex. Thank you to everyone for their support.

The consultation has now closed and the responses are being considered by the Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority. The consultation covered the introduction of a new bylaw to restrict trawling which will encourage the natural regeneration of the Kelp forest. A decision will be taken on the new bylaw at the next Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority Committee meeting on 23 January 2020.

If approved by the Committee, the new bylaw will be passed to the Secretary of State at Defra to be signed before coming into effect.

We will keep you updated on the progress of the new bylaw after the meeting on 23 January.

You can find full information on the proposal here.

For more information, please visit the Sussex Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority website.

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Why should we help our kelp

Kelp graphic 1000

The Partnership

Help Our Kelp has been formed in partnership with the following organisations:

- Sussex Wildlife Trust
Sussex IFCA
- Big Wave Productions
- Blue Marine Foundation
Marine Conservation Society