Fishermen Exchange Program
United Kingdom’s Lyme Bay area Scallop Diver Jonathan Shuker, crab fisherman Alan Steer, Simon Pengelly from Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority, Andy Woolmer Fisheries Scientist and Emma Pearson, PhD Scientist, visited local fishermen Bill Blue, Rob Seitz and Jeremiah O’Brien, MBCQF’s Lueker and Algert and TNC’s Michael Bell and Kate Kauer in Morro Bay to share ideas, learn about local projects and challenges and then apply that learning to similar projects in Lyme Bay, United Kingdom.
Lyme Bay became the United Kingdom’s largest marine protected area in 2008 when scallop dredging was banned. This resulted in fishermen vastly increasing use and number of static pots and nets to the point of overfishing in this “Special Area of Conservation”. In response, fishermen, managers and conservationists entered into a voluntary agreement, creating a blueprint for how fishing will continue in the area. The UK group also exchanged ideas and discussions with fishermen and others in the fishing industry in the communities of Monterey and Santa Barbara.