Our projects

North Devon Biosphere Reserve

The North Devon UNESCO Biosphere is home to extraordinary biodiversity.

Sandy gravels provide essential spawning grounds for sharks and rays and are interspersed with rocky reef nurseries for shellfish including rare spiny lobsters. At its heart lies Lundy Island and one of only four no-take zones in the UK.  

For centuries, fishermen have worked with the strong, unpredictable tides to fish a diverse and abundant catch. In the 19th century, over 100 boats were based out of Clovelly alone in pursuit of their ‘silver darlings’ (herring). Today, only three herring fishermen remain, and the disappearing fishery is a reflection of the struggles of inshore fishermen around the UK.  

Blue Marine is working with local fishermen, regulators and scientists through a Defra Pioneer Project to increase protection for marine habitats and the fish stocks that depend on them, conduct locally-led fisheries management pilots and improve fisheries monitoring and reporting. Part of this work includes a herring project using fisherman’s knowledge to survey and identify potential spawning grounds within the Reserve.

These findings have helped to expose the threat posed by Hinkley Nuclear Power Station which has the potential to suck up half a million fish each day. Blue Marine’s Legal Unit is playing an active role in ensuring that this is not allowed to happen.

North Devon

Key stats

1,000 square miles

1 of 4 no-take zones in the UK

Half a million fish potentially sucked up by Hinkley Point each day

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How to help

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.


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