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12 January 2010

Working month

Liaison officer Laura Bates tells us about some of the people she met in the run up to Christmas.
Our liaison officers are helping people with an interest in the Irish Sea to have a say in how it should be protected. To set up a meeting, call 01925 813 200 and ask for Laura Bates or Emily Hardman.
December 9th
Meeting with Fleetwood Fishermen
I gave a roundtable presentation about the Irish Sea Conservation Zones project to Ken Moran of the Fleetwood Producers Organisation and two full time commercial fishermen operating out of Fleetwood.
We discussed how to obtain an accurate list of fishing vessels using the area, given that the Marine Fisheries Agency’s list of vessels doesn’t seem to be accurate on the fishing operation within Fleetwood. We also talked through the Marine Conservation Zones questionnaire and maps in detail.
I also met with both divers and wildlife enthusiasts in Lancaster for the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) annual pub quiz in Lancaster. I’ll make a formal presentation about the project to the local MCS group in Lancaster on January 13th.
December 22nd
Darwen Sub Aqua Club
Fourteen members of the Darwen Sub Aqua Club managed to plough their way through the snow to their weekly social night at the Sports and Social Club to hear a presentation about the project.
I’ll meet the members again in January to run through a questionnaire that will help us develop a map of where divers go in the Irish Sea.
December 23nd
Chorley Sub Aqua Club
A dozen members of the Chorely Sub Aqua Club gathered in the St Joseph’s Catholic Club for pizza and a presentation about the Irish Sea Conservation Zones project. 
They seemed interested in the project and requested an update on it in six months time.
I also explained that we hope to set up local Marine Conservation Zone groups across the North West that meett regularly. The dive club will be invited to put forward representatives to join these groups so that they can continue to contribute to the project.
The members also kindly took the time to complete two questionnaires that mapped where they dive and carry out power boat training courses.