New bylaw bans scallop dredging

DEFRA and Cornwall Sea Fisheries Committee are introducing in abylaw banning scallop dredging in the Falmouth and Helford SpecialArea of Conservation (UK) in order to protect the maerl beds and othersensitive benthic habitats.

The Cornwall County Council has the following link which publishes the new laws and also information on scallop management and trawling methods.  There has been a rumour of protest within the diving community as the laws would mean that all the scallop beds in Cornwall would be unaccessible to divers/spearfishers.

There is a consultation on draft order for measures to protect Fal andHelford Special area of Conservation (SAC) from the impacts of fishingwith scallop dredges and other bottomtrawls. It covers possible impactsof measures.  To read this consultation use this link.  Local freedivers and spearfisher have suggested to the public that they join forces in supporting the dredging ban, but objecting to a blanket ban on the take of scallops.

A contact email has been provided for Cornwall Sea Fisheries Committee, who will be discussing the scallop ban at their next meeting is [email protected]