A new law – The Nearshore Trawling Byelaw – has been approved by the UK Government which bans bottom trawling in a 4 kilometre area between Shoreham and Selsey.
The ban provides new hope for wildlife along the West Sussex coast, as it is thought the ban will allow kelp to regrow, having been destroyed by trawling since the 80s. The return of the seabed habitat could help to support an abundance of marine species.
The law was proposed by Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (Sussex IFCA) in recogognising the importance of healthy marine habitats for the long term management of fishing. An increase in kelp will likely also encourage an increase in commercial fish and shellfish.
Kelp is also vitally important for the planet’s fight against climate change. In 2018, a global study led by a team from The University of Western Australia and the Marine Biological Association of the UK found that kelp forests take in more than twice the amount of carbon dioxide than previously thought, which can help mitigate the impact of climate change.
You can read more about SDG 14 – Life Below Water – here!