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

2018 News

Lots of lobsters being caught and sold through Reserve Seafood last week
5th March, 2018

Photo taken by Dr Adam Rees, Post Doctoral researcher at Plymouth University and Blue Marine Foundation Research Officer whilst visiting the ports of Lyme Bay Reserve.

Interview with Dr Emma Sheehan
27th February, 2018

Senior Research fellow of Applied Marine Ecologist at Plymouth Marine Institute Dr Emma Sheehan discusses her journey as a researcher including pioneering work in Lyme Bay Reserve featured in the new Plymouth University Invenite Magazine: www.plymouth.ac.uk/alumni-friends/invenite/lyme-bay-and-dr-emma-sheehan

Fishy Factoid Time!
21st February, 2018

Did you know… a cuckoo wrasse can change sex? Here's a fantastic example filmed in Lyme Bay Reserve and edited by Chloe Game, Project Support Officer at Plymouth University Marine Institute. Credit: www.sheehanresearchgroup.com/return

Ambitious plan for conservation
19th February, 2018

University research informs the Government’s ambitious plan for conservation – decade-long study in Lyme Bay pioneers 'whole site approach'. Conducted by Dr Emma Sheehan and Dr Sian Rees of Plymouth University : www.plymouth.ac.uk/news/university-research-informs-the-governments-ambitious-plan-for-conservation

Female cuckoo wrasse
15th February, 2018

WOW! Chloe Game from Plymouth University Marine Institute has been looking through archive footage from Lyme Bay Reserve again. Here is a female cuckoo wrasse from 2010 swimming amongst some pink sea fans. Did you know… Lyme Bay Reserve has the largest colony of pink sea fans in the UK with numbers increasing eight times since 2008.

Rare sighting of a Gray Triggerfish
12th February, 2018

Research Assistant Chloe Game of Plymouth University Marine Institute has been going through archive footage filmed in Lyme Bay and found this rare sighting of a Gray Triggerfish.

The jaw of the Triggerfish contains eight strong incisor teeth which it uses to chisel holes in mussels and other hard shelled molluscs to get at the soft flesh inside. In September, 2007 Triggerfish were reported on several occasion fighting each other on wrecks in Lyme Bay. The Triggerfish were seen with lumps bitten out of each other!

The Triggerfish is a visitor to British waters from warmer Southern seas. During the summer divers can see these Triggerfish around wrecks in Lyme Bay. When hiding in crevices they hold their position using the first spine on their dorsal fin locking it in place with the second spine. The second spine also acts as a trigger to unlock the first spine and hence the name Triggerfish. Video by: sheehanresearchgroup.com / Plymouth University

Congratulations Dr Rees!
8th February, 2018

Huge congratulations to Dr Adam Rees on just getting through his PhD viva on the Lyme Bay Reserve Experimental Potting Project – a collaborative programme with Lyme Bay Fisheries and Conservation ReserveBlue Marine Foundation and Plymouth University to assess the impact of potting density on seabed biodiversity and target species within the Lyme Bay Marine Protected Area. We can call you Dr Rees now! Photo by Martin Attrill – Professor of Marine Ecology, Plymouth University.

Fishy Facts
5th February, 2018

Discover the facts and figures of Lyme Bay Reserve in full infographic colour.

From Soil to the Sea
2nd February, 2018

Our very own Neville Copperthwaite, Project Coordinator for the Lyme Bay Fisheries and Conservation Reserve is in the 2nd edition of the Bridport Times – a new monthly, local magazine which is absolutely gorgeous! Check out the interesting article here: http://bit.ly/2EaMqWC

JOB VACANCY: Blue Marine Foundation Coordinator (South-West)

A vacancy has arisen for a Coordinator (South-West) to join the Blue Marine Foundation team. The Coordinator will be part of a team responsible for developing and managing BLUE’s Lyme Bay Fisheries and Conservation Reserve and other projects in the South West.

BLUE’s highly successful project in Lyme Bay, for the last five years has not only achieved conservation improvements, but also improved livelihoods of local fishermen. See HERE for a recent news clip.

The post-holder should have a good understanding of UK fisheries and at least three years’ experience in delivering UK or international marine conservation projects. Experience working directly with fishermen a positive.

Full job specification can be seen here. Deadline Monday 19th February, 2018.

Something to brighten up your Monday
22nd January, 2018

We love sharing this video of a scallop swimming along the Lyme Bay seabed. Most species of the scallop family are free-living active swimmers, propelling themselves through the water through the use of the adductor muscles to open and close their shells. Swimming occurs by the clapping of valves for water intake.

This video was filmed by Plymouth University Marine Institute as part of the Lyme Bay Fisheries and Conservation Reserve Scientific Potting Study.

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Consultative Committee Meeting Minutes
17th January, 2018

Ever wondered what goes on at the Lyme Bay Fisheries and Conservation Reserve Consultative Committee Meetings which sees Lyme Bay fishermen, conservationists, marine regulators and scientists sit around the same table and plan the sustainable future of Lyme Bay? Follow the link below to read the minutes from the most recent meeting held in Lyme Regis in December. It includes;

- Updates on the Management Plan
- Port infrastructure improvements 
- Education Outreach Programme
- Codes of Conduct review
- Scientific potting study
…and much more!


Stop the press!
11th January, 2018

Our very own Neville Copperthwaite, Project Coordinator for the Lyme Bay Fisheries and Conservation Reserve is in the first edition of the Bridport Times – a new monthly, local magazine which is absolutely gorgeous!

Read it here: http://bit.ly/2EyuWjz

Underwater Wonders of Lyme Bay
9th January, 2018

The East Tennants Reef in Lyme Bay supports one of densest and most extensive populations of seafans in the English Channel. The seafans found here are notable for their large size in addition to the high density found here and that is why the Lyme Bay Fisheries and Conservation Reserve aims to look after this rich habitat through sustainable fisheries management.

Local underwater photographer Colin Munro who filmed this rocky reef in about 24-29 meters approximately 5 miles offshore describes the reefs in Lyme Bay as mostly low lying and the waters tend to be fairly gloomy and turbid. As this is essentially a large, open, sandy bay exposed to the prevailing winds, then significant amounts of suspended sediment are the norm.

Whilst winds may ease in summer, it is also prone to strong plankton blooms during May and June, with a second less pronounced bloom in late summer. Thus underwater visibility rarely exceeds 10 metres (30ft) and frequently may be less than 3 metres (10ft). The reefs in the bay, though numerous in the centre and east, are mostly discontinuous, forming a patchwork of low rocky outcrops surrounded by sediment. This means that they tend to be covered by thin veneers of sediment as tide and wave action lifts and sweeps sand across them. This makes it a rather challenging environment for the underwater photographer. Low light levels and high levels of suspended sediment producing lots of backscatter from lights making for tricky problems in producing good images.

Filmed by Colin Munro (www.colinmunrophotography.com). Underwater lighting by Sean Leake.

Bracing the cold northerly wind!
8th January, 2018

Here are some photos of builders working on the cladding on the West Bay chiller unit this morning in a freezing northerly wind.

The chiller unit is part of the Lyme Bay Fisheries and Conservation Reserve’s aim to improve existing port facilities with the provision of chiller facilities and insulated fish boxes, which help to improve the quality, durability and value of the landed catches by the fishermen. As fishermen have agreed to a reduction in gear levels in the interests of the environment, it is therefore desirable to help them achieve an optimum price for their catch by way of providing basic chiller facilities within their port. The availability of this chiller unit will lead to increased competitiveness and improved quality of the fishermen's catch. In turn this will lead to increased value on their existing catch from existing markets.

The chiller unit is part funded by the Blue Marine Foundation (facilitators of the Lyme Bay Fisheries and Conservation Reserve) and the European Fisheries Fund. The fishing ports of Beer, Axmouth and Lyme Regis already have their chiller units and are being used to great success.

Also pictured is the Axmouth chiller unit (on a warm summer's day) with the cladding complete. For more information about the fishermen's catch visit: www.lymebayreserve.co.uk/reserve-seafood/

Schools Outreach 2018
5th January, 2018

A new year means the start of more visits by the Lyme Bay Schools Outreach Team. Since the start in January 2014 they have visited 85 schools in the Devon and Dorset area engaging with some 5,188 students. 20 of these visits have been repeat bookings, which must mean we're doing something right!

The programme involves fishing representatives visiting schools to deliver an adaptable presentation which has proved highly popular so far with teachers reporting that school children have been engaged and delighted by demonstrations of different fishing methods and the life-cycle of a lobster, featuring a live lobster. In the last year Blue Marine Foundation (facilitators of Lyme Bay Reserve) have developed the project to formalise and structure a more comprehensive programme reaching out to more students and using innovative techniques.

Do you work at a school and are interested in a FREE visit? Then contact Nicky Mitchard, Schools Outreach Coordinator: to secure your booking in 2018.

Pictured here are photos from Broadmayne First School, Dorset, Redstart Primary School, Chard, Thomas Hardye School, Dorset and West Hill Primary School, Ottery St Mary.