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12 October 2010

Thanks for busy drop-in days

Over 50 people joined us at a drop-in days in Fleetwood and Barrow recently.

The drop-in days were some of the busiest the Irish Sea Conservation Zones team have held so far and the project would like to thank everyone who came along for their time and effort.

The project’s liaison officer for Cumbria, Stephen Manning, is a shrimp fisherman in Morecambe Bay who has also worked at Barrow ship yard. He said: “We were especially pleased that people came along from all walks of life, from commercial fishermen to sea anglers and people from wind farm companies.

“We also spoke to people from three local sailing clubs and the local dive club.

“It’s important that sea users get involved with our survey before our deadline at the end of October.”

Twenty people also took the opportunity to join the team’s research into how people use the Irish Sea for both business and pleasure. They filled in special questionnaires that will be used to help create maps of marine activities.

The maps will be vital in ensuring that all interests are taken into account as recommendations for Marine Conservation Zones in the Irish Sea project area are developed, which will help ensure that people’s activities are not unnecessarily restricted.

Marine Conservation Zones are a new kind of marine protection currently being developed all around England.

The recommendations for Marine Conservation Zones in the Irish Sea are being formulated by a Regional Stakeholder Group made up of around 40 people with diverse interests, from fishermen to sea anglers, yachtsmen, scientists, industry representatives and conservationists.

It is the first time that the innovative stakeholder-led approach has been used to recommend marine protection in the UK.

For more information, people can contact their local liaison officer on 01925 813 200 or email info@irishseaconservation.org.uk.