Cromer Shoal Chalk Beds Marine Conservation Zone – Research Report
Natural England have published a research report on 23rd October 2020 “Human Impacts on Cromer Shoal Chalk Beds MCZ: Chalk complexity and population dynamics of commercial crustaceans”. This is the result of a partnership project with EIFCA, University of Essex, MCS-Agents of Change and the fishing community to investigate impacts on the internationally rare sub-tidal chalk feature using 3D Photogrammetry techniques. The report underpins Natural England’s advice to Eastern IFCA that active potting impacts the chalk through the ropes, pots and anchors. Although individually those incidents of damage are small scale, cumulatively over the whole MCZ chalk feature it is significant and Natural England therefore advise management specifically on the complex, rugged chalk. Storing of pots within the MCZ can also cause damage to the chalk e.g. if moved by storms or accidentally entangled by boats and Natural England advise this practice is stopped immediately, as well as implementation of a lost gear and recovery system.
Eastern IFCA and Natural England are committed to working closely with the fishing industry to mitigate the impacts on chalk whilst also seeking to minimise impacts on industry. For further information please see the press release here