Anglers fear government review could see fishing and shrimping banned in Morecambe Bay

Morecambe fishermen have raised concerns about a government scheme which could see fishing of all kinds banned in Morecambe Bay.

Wednesday, 24th June 2020, 11:46 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th June 2020, 11:48 am
A shrimping boat returns after a day's shrimping in Morecambe Bay.

A review is under way into the possibility of making up to 46 areas around the UK - including Morecambe Bay - into Highly Protected Marine Areas.

This would put a stop to both commercial and recreational fishing and shrimping, putting livelihoods at risk, including of those who sell the famous Morecambe Bay Potted Shrimps.

It is understand a recommendation of the report could be to trial the policy in a handful of as yet unnamed areas of the UK, but plans are currently delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Paul Coxhill, who lives in Broadway, contacted Morecambe MP David Morris with his concerns.

He said: "The introduction of an HPMA in Morecambe Bay could be devastating for the area’s ability to attract visitors.

"The angler has such little impact on fish stocks compared to commercial activities – of which there are now so few in our area, but I do fear for local businesses and our world famous Morecambe Bay shrimps if the ban is implemented.

"I totally agree that massive foreign trawlers should be banned from our coastal waters, and the banning of discard should be more efficiently upheld, but for the sake of the area and the effect on the leisure activity of so many, please help stop this."

A campaigjn by online sea fishing magazine Hookpoint has also asked readers to contact their MPs about the issue.

Mr Morris said Mr Coxhill's concerns relate to a report which has made a number of recommendations to Government.

"The report and its recommendations is currently being reviewed by the Secretary of State and once this is complete he will announce any actions or policies being implemented as a result, but these have not been decided," Mr Morris said.

"As a result of this letter on behalf of the Hookpoint campaign to protect recreational angling, I have raised his concerns with the Secretary of State in writing and will be issuing my constituent with a response as soon as I receive a full update."