Help Our Kelp update

30 July 2020 | Posted in Ella Garrud , Marine
Help Our Kelp update
Kelp Forest © Andy Jackson

Ella Garrud

Living Seas Officer

The Sussex Near Shore Trawling Byelaw, which will exclude trawling from a vast area of 304 km2 of Sussex coastline year-round, was agreed by Sussex IFCA on 23rd January 2020. The decision was made following an extensive consultation period, which saw overwhelming support demonstrated by almost 2,500 people in response to the Help Our Kelp campaign. This support was invaluable in ensuring the byelaw was agreed locally.

What is happening now?

The byelaw is now with the Marine Management Organisation, going through the due process required before it is referred to the Secretary of State Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs the Rt Hon George Eustice. Once the Secretary of State has signed it, the byelaw will become official, and can be implemented.

The Rt Hon George Eustice recently took part in a Rewilding the Sea virtual conference held by Blue Marine Foundation, who are one of the partners of Help Our Kelp. In his key note speech, Mr. Eustice spoke about his department’s intentions to restore marine habitats such as seagrass and salt marsh, and to remove damaging activities such as trawling and dredging for marine sediments.

He said: “We have been very clear that we want biodiversity and the role of nature in addressing climate change to be a major part of that agenda. We also know that left alone to recover you get an abundance of life in these areas that are protected. Not only does that have a role in carbon sequestration but also in biodiversity”. This bodes well for the Near Shore Trawling Byelaw which once implemented, will initiate the first ever kelp rewilding project in the UK".

A significant number of national and local stakeholders have joined us by writing directly to the Secretary of State to show the broad, cross sector support that exists for this byelaw.

What can you do to help?

Now that Coronavirus lockdown restrictions have eased and Sussex slowly starts to return to ‘normal’, we want to put this byelaw back onto the political agenda.

The most effective action you can take is to write to your local Sussex MP. When writing to your Member of Parliament’s personal email address, using your own content is far more effective than simply cutting and pasting an email composed centrally. For this reason, we have put together important points you should include in your email here.

Thank you in advance for your support!

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