What is sustainable fishing?

The demand for seafood and advances in technology have led to fishing practices that have depleted fish and shellfish populations all over the world. Sustainable fishing methods are techniques that preserve the habitat of the fish and ensure populations for future generations yet to come. The aim is not to over fish and not to be environmentally destructive whilst we fish!

Why do we need to fish sustainably?

By using techniques such as rod and line, trammel nets and hand line we are not damaging the under-water environment that is not only the habitat of fish but a whole ecosystem! Unsustainable methods such as dredging and trawling churns up the sediments of the sea bed, destroying the habitat of underwater wildlife, the seaweed beds and deep-water coral.

These unsustainable methods of fishing also often result in incidentally catching non-target species, known as bycatch. Sustainable fishing methods focus on catching much smaller amounts of fish, which means little to no bycatch. Any non-targeted sea creatures can be quickly saved and released back into the ocean. Another serious problem in that when unsustainable methods are used, the mass amounts of fishing gear often can result in hooks breaking off and getting lost in the water. It is forgotten gear such as this that harms non-targeted sea animals. This is particularly wasteful and destructive because these animals catch are not being used or harvested.

Lures and Lines left behind can also trap animals swimming past. Our skippers do not use mass equipment and therefore they can easily manage their gear. Perhaps one of the most serious problems of unsustainable fishing is over fishing. Our fishermen understand seafood seasonality and fishing to ensure that quotas are met but the population of the fish is plentiful and healthy for the future.

All of our fishermen are aware of the importance of sustainable fishing and we are proud that all of our fishermen comply with Responsible Fishing Scheme and the Great Dorset Seafood Campaign.