Isle of Man marine protection measures enhanced

Ramsey Bay by Dave Kneale Ramsey Bay hosts a diverse marine habitat including maerl beds, eelgrass meadows and kelp forests

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The Manx government is stepping up measures to enhance the protection of a newly established marine reserve in the north of the Isle of Man.

From 1 April to 30 September no bait collection or angling will be allowed in certain parts of Ramsey Bay.

The restricted area, known as the Eelgrass Zone, extends from Ballure Arches to Gob ny Rona.

The area has been protected to allow animal and plant life to recover, and feed the surrounding seabed.

An environment department spokesman said shore and boat angling is allowed everywhere else within the Marine Nature Reserve, subject to other regulations.

Ramsey Bay was designated as the Isle of Man's first marine nature reserve in 2011 with the aim of safeguarding fisheries and creating a centre for marine tourism and research.

Under the proposal the area is closed to scallop dredging and queenie trawling to help replenish fish stocks.

Marine Officer Fiona Gell said: "The protection in place for habitats such as horse mussel reefs, eelgrass meadows, kelp forests and maerl beds will allow the Bay to recover and thrive.

"A healthier bay will provide better feeding, breeding and sheltering opportunities for many fish species and will benefit angling."

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