Our Mission “Marine Protected Areas need to be managed properly and that's what we are working on here.”

2021 News

Local, fresh crab for lunch anyone?
17th June, 2021

These tasty crabs were potted sustainably by Axmouth fisherman Gavin Ziemann this week aboard his boat 'Ventura', and are on their way to local fishmonger 'Just Fish' in Seaton, just down the road from Axmouth harbour.

Minimal food miles. Maximum taste. What's not to love!

Need some inspiration on how to cook up a feast? Local celebrity chef Mark Hix has whipped up this tasty recipe, using crab as the star of the plate: https://bit.ly/3cQ6SMF

Cast your votes TODAY!
5th May, 2021

We are pleased to announce that the Lyme Bay Fish Shack, who fish in Lyme Bay Reserve, have been shortlisted in the Fishing News Awards for 2021 in not one, but TWO categories;

Trainee Fisherman of the Year
Young fisher Sam Birt, 17, has been involved with the fishing industry since the age of 10. He has worked on his father’s boat, KT-SAM, and completed several trips on the day-boat trawler New Seeker. The main methods of fishing on the KT-SAM are static nets, lobster and crab pots, and rod and line.

Independent Retailer of the Year
Lyme Bay Fish Shack is run by husband and wife team Nigel and Corinne Birt, who started the business in 2012. Over the years they have expanded to a new shop and prep room, which was built in 2019. The team has its own boat, KT-SAM E 10, run by Nigel and their son Sam, which works out of Lyme Regis. They pot for lobsters and crab, use static nets for Dover sole, plaice, etc, and rod and line for bass, pollack and cod. Voting couldn't be easier. Click on the link below and cast your votes. Voting closes at midnight on 20 May.


Good luck Sam, Nigel & Corinne

Special visitors to Lyme Bay Fisheries & Conservation Reserve
26th April, 2021

This sunny weekend saw two very special visitors down on the quayside in Lyme Regis.
MP for West Dorset Chris Loder MP and Mayor Brian Larcombe of Lyme Regis Town Council. Both were invited to meet with fishermen from the Lyme Bay Fisheries & Conservation Reserve to understand more about sustainable seafood, life as a small-scale inshore fisherman, and the future management of England’s Coral Garden that is Lyme Bay. With social distance measures in place, Chris and Brian spoke at length to the fishermen to understand their concerns, needs and passion for sustainable fishing in the area.

Guests were then hosted by renowned chef Mark Hix and his diligent staff at Theoysterandfishhouse as they served Reserve Seafood, the low-impact sustainable, premium-quality, provenance-assured seafood of Lyme Bay over a jaw-dropping vista. With this level of interest, and collaborative approach, there's a bright future for Lyme Bay Reserve.

21st April, 2021

This magnificent basking shark was filmed by Lyme Bay Reserve fisher Nathan Cox aboard his boat 'Our Phyllis Rose' whilst out fishing in Lyme Bay Reserve on the 14th April. Basking sharks can reach lengths of up to 12 metres and are second in size only to the gigantic whale shark. These gentle giants are filter feeders, mostly dining on plankton. Basking sharks do not actively seek out food or suck in water, instead they swim with their mouths open, catching whatever goes through.

The basking shark is a seasonal visitor to the UK – the best time to spot one is between May and October, when a significant number of them arrive in British waters. Basking sharks live for around 50 years and often swim around either in pairs or groups of up to 100.

The film 'STORM'
13th April, 2021

Dr Emma Sheehan, Associate Professor of Marine Ecology from University of Plymouth has just released this short film 'STORM'. 'STORM' highlights how the Lyme Bay Marine Protected Areas that excluded bottom-towed fishing in 2008 has increased the resilience of the coral and sponge reef ecosystem to extreme climatic events.

When the area was hit by extreme storms in 2014 the recovering community was severely damaged, however, research by the University of Plymouth shows how the reefs are now bouncing back far quicker than previous recovery rates following years of bottom-towed fishing.

Watch here:

Lyme Bay Reserve in the press
12th April, 2021

Great to see the successful Blue Marine Foundation work in Lyme Bay on sustainable fishing highlighted in this article about #Seaspiracy in the Daily Mail: https://bit.ly/3zA0qD5

Want to know more about Lyme Bay Reserve? This documentary, produced by Blue Marine Foundation, showcases the miraculous recovery of marine life in the Lyme Bay Fisheries and Conservation Reserve in Dorset, following the creation of a marine protected area that banned destructive, mobile fishing. The film also tells of the benefits to small-scale fishermen of the community-led, collaborative model of sustainable fishing that has since been developed.

Watch here:

Beer Beach in Spring Sunshine
9th April, 2021

Beautiful snapshot of Beer beach, home to the Lyme Bay Fisheries & Conservation Reserve fishermen.

Friday Fishy Factoid
9th April, 2021

Did you know that lost and abandoned fishing gear, which is deadly to marine life, makes up the majority of large plastic pollution in the oceans, according to a report by Greenpeace International. So it's great to see Lyme Bay Reserve fisherman John Wallington from The Quayside. Home Of The Axmouth Fishermen bringing ashore the cod-end of a trawler net last week. Found floating out in Lyme Bay the net was possibly lost over the rail during bad weather. John and his crew managed to recover the net and bring it ashore. Now to get it recycled! Great work guys!

Exciting News
2nd April, 2021

We are thrilled to announce that from today you will be able to buy our lobsters from all four of Moxons Fishmongers shops in London. The fishermen of Lyme Bay Reserve have worked with the Blue Marine Foundation and scientists for over a decade to fish sustainably. Studies by Plymouth Uni show lobsters are four and a half times more abundant in the Reserve thanks to fishermen's efforts to conserve stocks. Support the fishermen of Lyme Bay Reserve this Easter and order from moxonsfreshfish.com/our-shops/. Supplies are limited!

Photo by Saeed Rashid at Focus Visuals

Axmouth Harbour
30th March, 2021

Challenging condition at the mouth of Axmouth harbour this week. Expertly handled by fisherman Oscar as he heads out into Lyme Bay Reserve for a day of fishing.

19th March, 2021

These pots were pulled up by Lyme Bay fisherman Gavin Ziemann from The Quayside. Home Of The Axmouth Fishermen yesterday. If you look closely, you'll see a couple of small sea urchins using some broken shells as a disguise.

The reefs and adjacent areas in Lyme Bay are traditional fishing grounds for local fishing communities for which fishing is both culturally and economically important, but the reefs are also home to many diverse flora and fauna species.

Head over to our website to discover more: https://www.lymebayreserve.co.uk/marine-life/

Say hello to fisherwoman Carolyn Nation
16th March, 2021

We spent some time getting to know Carolyn, a new face down on Axmouth harbour. Ever since she was small, Carolyn has been interested in fishing, and used to go out on her Dad’s boat, which was moored in Lyme Regis, and it was here where she got hooked (pun intended!).

In March last year, with extra time on her hands, Carolyn decided to train up as a skipper. In order to work towards her skipper’s license, and build up the required 150 hours, she started working at the helm with fisherman Charlie Ziemann aboard his boat Sunbeam, moored in Axmouth. Both would head out into Lyme Bay Reserve, some days for up to 10 hours at a time. Carolyn quickly built up her required hours and obtained her skipper’s license in February of this year. But she’s not stopping here, Carolyn is now busy working towards her Advanced Skipper’s Course, funded through European Fisheries Fund, and already has her Experienced Fisherman’s ID Card, which shows health and safety knowledge and sea survival skills.

We asked Carolyn what amazing sights she has seen whilst out fishing in Lyme Bay; “Dolphins are always a joy to see, but also what’s attached to the pots as we haul them up, things like squid eggs, which are amazing to see. On rare occasions it’s great to see squat lobsters – they are beautiful and a real highlight when they come up in the pots. They go back in the sea”.

Well done Carolyn, keep up the great work and stay safe.

LYME BAY: The Road To Recovery
15th March, 2021

In case you missed it… the Blue Marine Foundation showcases the miraculous recovery of marine life in the Lyme Bay Fisheries and Conservation Reserve in Dorset, following the creation of a marine protected area that banned destructive, mobile fishing and tells of the benefits to small-scale fishermen of the community-led, collaborative model of sustainable fishing that has since been developed. Directed by award-winning director Rupert Murray.

South West Marine Ecosystems Webinar
10th March, 2021

South West Marine Ecosystems webinar on Marine Protected Areas and Management.
Dr Adam Rees; Post-Doctoral researcher at the University of Plymouth, and Research Officer at the Blue Marine Foundation, shares results from the Lyme Bay Potting Study; a four-year study assessing the impact of potting on the reefs and crab and lobster fisheries here in Lyme Bay Reserve supported by Blue Marine Foundation and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Using four different potting levels: high, medium, low and none, across Lyme Bay, Adam and fishermen monitored changes to crab and lobster and the reefs through a number of methods. After four years they found reef building species were 36% less abundant in high treatment sites compared to other treatments. Fragile species such as Ross Coral were 83% less abundant in high treatment sites. Abundance of both brown crab and lobster were also observed over the four-year period to be lower in high potting treatments and crabs were lighter!

International Women’s Day
8th March, 2021

Celebrating #InternationalWomensDay with fisherwoman Carolyn alongside brothers Gavin and Charlie from Axmouth. A big shout out to all other fisherwomen who brave the high seas to bring seafood to our plates.

Majestic Beer Beach
8th March, 2021

A snapshot of beautiful Beer beach, home to the fishermen of Lyme Bay Fisheries and Conservation Reserve.

Fishy Factoid Time
5th March, 2021

Gavin Ziemann is not only a fisherman fishing out in Lyme Bay in his small-scale boat 'Ventura', he is also a member of Lyme Bay Fisheries & Conservation Reserve, contributor to The Quayside. Home Of The Axmouth Fishermen and has also been the Schools Outreach Ambassador delivering informative talks about sustainable fishing and marine litter to primary schools in and around Dorset and Devon. What Gavin doesn't know isn't worth knowing and he knows a lot about cuttlefish! If you venture out along the beach this weekend have a look for some cuttlefish bones and if you want to impress friends and family, here’s some top information from Gavin:

– Cuttlefish will soon be coming inshore around our coast to breed.
– They live for only two to three years
– Cuttle ink can be used to make the colour sepia
– Cuttle bone is used for budgies and parrots to wear their beaks on
– Cuttle bone, because of its heat resistance, is sometimes used to make small moulds for forming melted materials like pewter into jewellery.

Do you have a practical use for cuttlebones?

Photo of swimming cuttlefish by www.colinmunrophotography.com.

Sunbeam fishing in Lyme Bay Reserve
3rd March, 2021

Cracking photos aboard Sunbeam whilst fishing out in Lyme Bay Reserve yesterday. Not a bad office window.

Photos by Carolyn Louise Nation – The Quayside. Home Of The Axmouth Fishermen.

Say hello to Simon
2nd March, 2021

It's hard to miss Simon, our Reserve Seafood delivery driver, wearing his new branded sweatshirt and hi-vis jacket whilst down in Lyme Regis today.

Simon makes regular visits throughout the week to each of the four ports, which make-up Lyme Bay Reserve; West Bay, Lyme Regis, Axmouth and Beer to collect fish and shellfish from the chiller units. The construction of the chiller units, part funded by Blue Marine Foundation, helps to improve the quality, durability and value of the landed catches. As fishermen have agreed to a reduction in gear levels in the interests of the environment, it was therefore desirable to help them achieve an optimum price for their catch by way of providing basic chiller facilities within their port.

Another aim at the Lyme Bay Fisheries and Conservation Reserve is to help fishermen achieve best quality and top pricing for their catch. To do this we created the 'Reserve Seafood' brand, which markets the low-impact sustainable, premium quality, provenance-assured seafood of Lyme Bay.

A win-win model of sustainable fishing and conservation.

Axmouth Harbour
1st March, 2021

Interesting footage showing the entrance to Axmouth harbour, which fishermen from Lyme Bay Reserve navigate through as they head out into Lyme Bay. The entrance is narrow and formed between the shingle spit to the west and a short stone piled pier to the east. The River Axe estuary extends two miles inland and is navigable at high water by small craft.

For more details about this interesting natural feature the Axe Yacht Club
has a great webpage about it https://bit.ly/3r5ftAn

Now that's an office with a view!
26th February, 2021

East Devon District Council have been carrying out the annual #cliff inspections in Beer this week. If you look down on the shingle beach you'll see some of the small-scale fishing fleet of Lyme Bay Reserve lined up ready to head out to catch some low-impact sustainable, premium-quality, provenance-assured fish and shellfish. #DontLookDown

Photo by East Devon District Council

Oceanographic Magazine
23rd February, 2021

Great article in the Oceanographic Magazine about the better management of crab and lobster catches in Lyme Bay which could offer long-term benefits.

Photo of Lyme Bay Reserve fisherman Jim Newton from Beer in East Devon.

Happy #FishFriday everyone!
19th February, 2021

On another wet and windy day, why not create your own bit of sunshine in the kitchen with a fish dish supplied by the Lyme Bay Fish Shack. From Bream, Ling, Pollock and Plaice to Lemon Sole, Dover Sole, Brill and Monkfish there's plenty to make yourself scrumptious fish pie this weekend.

Bring a smile to your face and the fishermen of Lyme Bay Reserve who brave this weather to bring you #LocalFishforDinner

Fascinating animation about crab and lobster pot density
16th February 2021

Fantastic animation explaining how a study by the University of Plymouth has found that managing the density of crab and lobster pots at an optimum level increases the quality of catch, benefits the marine environment and makes the industry more sustainable in the long term. The study was carried out in partnership with local Lyme Bay Reserve fishers and funded by the Blue Marine Foundation & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

This handy animation helps explain some of the findings:

You can read more about the study here: Managing crab and lobster catches could offer long-term benefits to fishermen and the environment

Animation by the University of Plymouth.

Optimal fishing effort benefits fisheries and conservation
15th February, 2021

Research published today, carried out by the University of Plymouth and the Lyme Bay Fisheries and Conservation Reserve, provides a guide for sustainable pot fishing within the UK's marine protected areas and is a significant step towards developing well-managed pot fisheries. Over four years, areas of temperate reef within the Lyme Bay Reserve were exposed to different levels of pot fishing to assess the effects on biodiversity in the area.

The experiment demonstrated for the first time the negative effects associated with high levels of pot fishing both on reef building species and commercially targeted species. But the research also revealed that sustainable levels of pot fishing can be used within UK waters, benefitting both fisheries and conservation with a low-impact, high reward strategy.

Find out more visit: https://go.nature.com/3b5XItH

Scrumptious & Sustainable
12th February, 2021

This Valentine's Day treat your someone special to some scrumptious, sustainably sourced fish and shellfish from Lyme Bay Reserve, and show love towards our small-scale fishing fleet at the same time.

Head on down to the Lyme Bay Fish Shack in Axminster, Devon to see what amazing offers they have during this romantic weekend and share the love.

Photos by the Lyme Bay Fish Shack

‘Ventura’ in the winter sunshine.
8th February, 2021

Stunning photo of small-scale fishing boat 'Ventura' out fishing in Lyme Bay crewed by Lyme Bay Reserve fishermen Gavin Ziemann and brother Charlie from Axmouth Harbour.

Photo taken by Carolyn Louise Nation

What do you see in the waves?
1st February, 2021

Crashing waves over the Cobb in Lyme Regis, home to Lyme Bay Reserve fishermen, during high tide at the weekend.

Captured by the talented photographer: www.simonemmettphotography.com

Blue’s 10th Birthday
27th January, 2021

Read about the Blue Marine Foundation's activities and achievements from BLUE’s 10th year. As facilitators of the Lyme Bay Fisheries and Conservation Reserve, BLUE aims to restore the ocean to health by establishing marine protected areas and by tackling overfishing. BLUE’s mission is to see at least 30 per cent of the world’s ocean under effective protection by 2030 and the other 70 per cent managed in a responsible way.

BLUE Review 2020

Not a bad office window for the small-scale fishing fleet of Lyme Bay Reserve
22nd January, 2021

West Bay harbour is one of four fishing harbours which make up the Lyme Bay Fisheries & Conservation Reserve. The other three harbours being Lyme Regis in Dorset and Axmouth and Beer in East Devon. Happy #FishFriday

Want to find out more about Lyme Bay Reserve?
20th February, 2021

The Blue Marine Foundation showcases the recovery of marine life in Lyme Bay following the creation of a marine protected area that banned destructive, mobile fishing and tells of the benefits to small-scale fishermen of the community-led, collaborative model of sustainable fishing that has since been developed.

Beautiful Beer Beach
18th January, 2021

Beat those winter #MondayBlues and enjoy this aerial shot of Beer beach in East Devon, home to the small-scale fishing fleet of Lyme Bay Reserve.

Photo by Red Zeppelin on Unsplash

Happy #FishFriday
15th January, 2021

Despite lockdown #3 fishmongers and fishermen along the southwest coast are still catching and delivering fresh, sustainably caught fish and shellfish from Lyme Bay Reserve. Fill your fridge and give the fishing community a boost by having #LocalFishForDinner.

Check out these local suppliers:

Beer Fisheries Ltd, Beer, Devon
Phone: 01297 20297
Free local delivery available and nationwide delivery.

Lyme Bay Fish Shack, Kilmington, Devon
Phone: 01297 552176
Free local delivery available.

Just Fish, Seaton, Devon
Phone: 01297 24200

Photo by Lyme Bay Fish Shack

Test your crab knowledge!
13th January, 2021

Lyme Bay Reserve fishermen and Education Ambassador Gavin Ziemann who fishes out of Axmouth Harbour in East Devon has set this question for you: How do you identify between a Cock (male) and a Hen (female) crab? Any ideas?

According to Gavin: “The bottom crab is the Hen crab, notice the slight difference in shape, her shell is more rounded, also the claws can be smaller than on a Cock crab of a similar size Now look at the bottom picture, same two crabs, notice the “apron” on the hen is a lot bigger, this is to assist with carrying the large number of eggs (berries) they produce”.

Local fish for dinner
6th January, 2021

As we enter another lockdown don't forget you can still buy fresh, sustainably caught fish and shellfish from the small-scale fishing fleet of Lyme Bay Reserve. Pop along to any of these fishmongers and help support your local fishing community:

Beer Fisheries Ltd – Beer, Devon
Lyme Bay Fish Shack – Axminster, Devon
Call 4 Fish – Nationwide
Just Fish – Seaton, Devon

Photo by Beer Fisheries