A new wildlife conservation effort is in the making in Cumbria. Local woman, Lucy Mather, from Penrith, was appointed as a project officer for a new project called My Local Catch. Cumbria Wildlife Trust runs the project.
The wildlife charity was recently awarded £203,000 to fund the project. With this money, it will be possible for the project to run for the next few years. The goal is for the wildlife charity, My Local Catch, to aim for education and impact on local fishing methods.
My Local Catch Project
The project itself is to run for two and a half years. As project officer, Lucy will work with local anglers. After working with them, the fishermen should understand the importance of low-impact methods and find new ways to harvest sea life without damaging any of the sea beds.
Although Mather is leading the project, they are still looking for volunteers and locals to help with different programs. The programs aim to teach coastal communities, suppliers, restaurants, schools, retailers and even youth groups about the benefits of sustainable seafood. Various events include food cookery demonstrations, craft sessions, sea and wildlife-watching events, as well as plenty of other family-friendly activities.
Each of these events will be running on weekends throughout the autumn season. Everyone, no matter their age, is invited to attend.
Even though COVID-19 delayed the start of the project, it’s up and running now. It was supposed to begin last year, but it was postponed until this year due to the pandemic. It’s still going to make such a massive difference in the lives of locals as they’re educated on sustainability efforts for their fishing methods.
Seafood and Sustainability
Seafood is one of the best sources of nutrition. It’s known to lower blood pressure, provide you with omega-3 fatty acids and offer other great micronutrients like zinc, calcium and iron. Sustainable seafood is even better as it supports the environment, saves the oceans, boosts the economy and increases food security.
Sustainability is a critical factor in ensuring that people have the same opportunities in the future as you do now. Since Cumbria is taking steps towards seafood sustainability, they ensure that the sea creatures have a healthy and safe environment to live in. They’re ensuring that the locals and anyone who eats their seafood are getting the best quality.
Previously, seafood purchasers in the communities of Whitehaven perhaps weren’t doing all they could to promote sustainability. This project will encourage communities to support their local fishermen.
Additionally, the fishermen will learn better methods of creel fishing. Before the My Local Catch project, they were using destructive trawl fishing methods. This was destroying the bottom of the Irish Sea, home to delicate ecosystems and even endangered wildlife, like sea pens, which are similar to coral.
Instead, they’ll practice low-impact, high-quality fishing techniques to sustain those ecosystems. Creel fishing is more sustainable as fishers take in Dublin Bay Prawns. Anglers will use pots, which won’t damage the seabed. This fishing method also allows fish stocks to recover since creel fishing requires selectiveness — only taking in what’s matured and releasing anything too small or not the correct species.
Since nearly three billion people depend on seafood as a primary source of food in their daily diets, it’s essential that all communities, large and small, learn to improve their fishing methods and implement sustainability. This allows impoverished and low-income families to afford the food they need. Fortunately, the communities of Whitehaven and My Local Catch are setting a prime example of what it means to be stewards of the sea.
From Local to Beyond
This one wildlife charity is making a difference in the lives of fishers, community members and the environment. Sustainability starts locally. Hopefully, My Local Catch will create a ripple effect and influence communities beyond Cumbria and Whitehaven.