Fisheries work outlined to Berwick club members

Any collapse of the fishing industry off the North East coast would be '˜catastrophic' to the towns of Seahouses and Amble for tourism and social economies.

Sunday, 24th September 2017, 08:12 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 10:43 am

That was the view of Mike Hardy, chief executive of the Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority when he spoke to Berwick Probus Club last week.

He told members of the large amount of work being put in by his team of six enforcement and three environmental officers looking after the area from the mouth of the Tyne to the Scottish border and on to St Abb’s Head.

He praised the V-notching scheme for lobsters and said it was something they were proud of, along with the survey of mussels and the fish of the Aln estuary. These were key parts of their work. He felt lobster fishing showed signs of continuing to be sustainable.

The sea bed was being carefully examined and beach cleans helped check the amount of plastic in the sea.

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Over the years, some species of fish had been subject to bans and it was expected that drift netting off the North East coast would end in 2022.

Mr Hardy said they worked in partnership with the fishermen, police, customers and Newcastle University. An important feature of their work was education. However, he said the budget was tight.

The patrol vessel, St Aidan’s, is capable of 24 knots and is a vital part of the management of the seas. It carries a smaller boat for shallow waters and another which will hopefully be replaced in 2018.