Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Divers' Shellfish Code Introduced for Dorset Coast

Ladies and gentlemen, it has come to this.

The underwater life of the Dorset coast is being threatened by divers taking too many shellfish, according to conservationists.

Dorset Wildlife Trust is concerned that some divers are collecting large numbers of the marine animals.

The trust maintains this is putting the wildlife balance in the reefs at risk.

Divers who take too many lobsters, crabs and scallops could be depriving fellow divers of the chance to see these creatures alive in the wild.

Animals such as wrasse [brightly coloured marine fish], conger eels, cuttlefish, rays and sharks depend on shellfish for food, so there is also a 'knock-on' effect when numbers are reduced.

Julie Hatcher, marine awareness officer at Dorset Wildlife Trust, said: "We are worried about the sizes and numbers of shellfish, especially scallops and lobsters, which are being taken by recreational divers.


A Divers' Shellfish Code is being launched at the Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve, as part of the Selfish Shellfish Divers Project, and will be distributed free from the slipway at Kimmeridge Bay throughout summer 2010.

It is hoped that following the code will help ensure there will always be plenty of shellfish around for divers to see.

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