Jersey’s waters, with its seagrass, kelp forests and maerl beds, showcase some of the best shallow marine habitats in the British Isles.
Jersey has an extraordinary marine estate. The northwest coast has the greatest diversity of seaweed in the British Isles. On the southwest, some of the richest and most diverse clam beds in Northern Europe can be found and the rocky intertidal and outlying shallow reefs offer habitats found nowhere else in the region.
However, much of Jersey’s waters remain unprotected, with only six percent currently protected and the associated impact on marine life unknown. Blue Marine has been supporting research alongside partners on-island and UK academic institutions to assess the benefits of Jersey’s existing protected areas. We are using the evidence from these studies to build an evidence base for a well-managed Marine Protected Area in the form of a Marine Park, closed to bottom-towed fishing gear, to cover over 30 per cent of Jersey’s territorial waters.
To ensure fishing communities can continue to operate, thrive and co-exist alongside marine conservation, Blue Marine is applying its model of fishery co-management developed in Lyme Bay. This model proves that by using low-impact methods, fishermen’s livelihoods can improve while marine biodiversity thrives. In Jersey, we are supporting research with fishermen to inform local fisheries management plans through the completion of studies (such as potting studies, the methods of which were developed in Lyme Bay) to determine the next steps in safeguarding the future of these commercially important species. Such work looks to empower local fishermen to lead the management of their fisheries in line with conservation goals.
Blue Marine’s project in Jersey hopes to prove that marine protection will support both the recovery of marine life and the local fishing community. Jersey’s extensive seagrass beds, kelp forests and maerl beds all play a role in absorbing blue carbon and their protection could help Jersey meet its net zero carbon goals in-line with it’s carbon neutral strategy.
A component of the project connecting people to the sea, called Snorkel Portelet, launched in 2022, providing residents and tourists the opportunity to explore Jersey’s valuable marine environment. Created by Blue Marine, in partnership with the Societe Jersiaise, the snorkel trail is the first of a new network planned for the Island. Find out more here.
Marine Park Vision
Jersey has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to show global leadership by creating a Marine Park in its waters that delivers for people and nature, and reveal the Island as one of the world’s most accessible marine eco-tourism destinations. Read more in our Jersey briefing.
By working together, we can turn the tide on overfishing and the destruction of biodiversity. By supporting Blue Marine, you can help to create marine reserves around the world.