One year ago, the Help Our Kelp Partnership was formed with the aim of regenerating the much depleted West Sussex kelp forests. The project and partnership was formed when Big Wave Productions released the Help Our Kelp campaign film, highlighting the plight of the once dense and biodiverse Sussex kelp forests. The campaign was supported by Sir David Attenborough who narrated the film, which helped push the campaign into the national spotlight.
The film inspired nearly 2,500 people to demonstrate their support for the Sussex IFCA’s Near Shore Trawling Byelaw consultation at the end of 2019, which was an unprecedented response to a local byelaw consultation. Once implemented, the byelaw will exclude trawling from an area of 304 km2 of Sussex coastline year-round, which is hoped will allow the once vast kelp forests to recover with the absence of trawling. Following the extensive consultation period, the byelaw was agreed locally by the Sussex IFCA committee on 23rd January 2020.
What is happening now?
The byelaw is still with Parliament. Before it can be implemented and become an official law, it has to pass through DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and the MMO (Marine Management Organisation) and signed by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, The Rt Hon George Eustice.
Back in June, we called for you to write to your local Sussex MP, asking them to urge George Eustice to sign the byelaw as a matter of urgency. Many of you met this challenge and for this we thank you. Although the byelaw has yet to be signed, this action has put it back on the political agenda.
What can you do now to help?
Whilst we await the signing of the byelaw, we simply ask our followers to continue to support the project. This week we will be sharing posts on our social media and websites, which we would love for you to like and share: the more people we reach, the more pressure we can put on the government to complete the byelaw process. Don't forget you can watch our film on YouTube and share directly to your own social media page.
If you have not already, you can still write to your local Sussex MP. This will ensure that this important byelaw does not fall off the agenda, and will remind Parliament that this is still an important issue. 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.
Find out other ways you can help the campaign here.
Thank you once again for your support