I have worked with the Marine Conservation Society, local angling groups, the Sussex Wildlife Trust and the Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority over the past two years to achieve the Beachy Head East Marine Conservation Zone which covers our coastline from Beachy Head to Hastings. We were successful in that the government designated this zone last summer.
However, the work does not stop there and now we need to begin action to re-establish the marine habitat, in particular, sea kelp, in order to improve fisheries, the natural environment and climate resilience. I have therefore written to the Secretary of State for Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs to urge him to sign a trawling exclusion byelaw which will protect our seabeds.
Heavy beam trawlers and super trawlers cause lasting damage to our precious seabeds and many constituents have also written to me as part of the Greenpeace campaign to ban these vessels from our Marine Protected Areas. The EU's Common Fisheries policy currently restricts our ability to impose more stringent protections on our sea. However, at the end of the transition period the UK will be able to introduce stronger measures to manage our waters. The Fisheries Bill currently going through Parliament will help to protect our marine resources and fish sustainably.
More about the Beachy Head East Marine Conservation Zone here