Wrasse campaign winter 2017 update

Corkwing wrasse by Paul NaylorCorkwing wrasse by Paul Naylor

Thank you for your interest in DWT's Save our Wrasse campaign. The 2017 e-petition is now closed but DWT continues to press for better protection for Devon's wrasse.

Devon Wildlife Trust called for a halt to this new commercial fishery within Marine Protected Areas – such as Plymouth Sound and Estuaries Special Area of Conservation, where the Devon fishery took place in summer 2017 – until robust evidence was available on its likely impact on sensitive reef ecology.

Following the launch of the campaign, the Devon & Severn Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority introduced much needed regulatory measures including voluntary exclusion areas which would not be fished. This is now one of the most heavily regulated fisheries in the country.

The campaign secured immediate action from most Devon MPs who responded to constituents who had signed the petition, some raised DWT’s concerns with the Fisheries Minister and one promised to ask questions in Parliament.

However DWT remains concerned that the wrasse fishery is still taking place within a Marine Protected Area: MPAs are the only areas of our seas where legislation puts the natural world before commercial human activity.

DWT has arranged to meet with the IFCA in the very near future to secure support for robust evidence to be gathered which will reveal the impacts on our fragile reef ecosystems from removal of large numbers of wrasse – and to plot a way forward in managing the conservation impacts of this fishery before any plans are in place for the 2018 season.

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