Fishing will be banned at Portelet if States Members agree to create the island’s first “no-take zone”.
If passed, it will be an offence for a person to remove any marine species from the zone, or to use a fishing boat in it.
The only exception will be fishing for scientific research or for moving fish from one fishing ground to another, and this has to be under the express authority of the Environment Minister.
Portelet was first proposed as a marine reserve in the 1980s following several years’ survey work by Portsmouth University.
Then in 2018, the States of Jersey Marine Resources Panel – which brings together industry representatives and Government officers - agreed to a proposal by the Société Jersiaise to create a no-take zone there.
Its aim is to create a natural laboratory that can be used by universities, schools, community groups, visiting researchers and local organisations, such as the Société and the Blue Marine Foundation.
Pictured: An aerial view of Portelet Bay, showing the proposed no-take zone in red.
It is hoped that the zone will lead to a measurable change in the environmental and ecological health of the bay.
In anticipation for the zone’s creation, the Blue Marine Foundation has already started planning for a self-guided snorkel trail around the bay to encourage people to discover Portelet’s varied marine life.
Meanwhile, Blue Marine Foundation – a charity seeking to create marine reserves, restore vital habitats and establish models of sustainable fishing, which has a Jersey-based team – has commissioned a survey, in partnership with the National Trust, to gauge public support for the protection of local waters.
The poll, led by 4insight, hopes to capture views of the islanders about whether they agree that Jersey’s increased control over its own waters post-Brexit is to the island’s benefit, and to what degree they are in favour of further protection within its ‘high value’ marine habitats, essential for biodiversity, carbon sequestration and sustaining fisheries.
Click here to take part.
The charity has been campaigning for a ‘Marine Park’ in Jersey’s territorial waters, an idea taken forward into the Bridging Island Plan process by Senator Lyndon Farnham.
Pictured: Les Ecrèhous is already a protected area under fisheries legislation. Credit: James Bowden.
Environment Minister John Young, however, has proposed creating a ‘marine spatial plan’ by 2025 including a network of marine protected areas within Jersey waters.
Senator Farnham agrees, but is asking that it is called a marine park and covers at least 30% of the island’s territorial waters by that year.
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