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Conservation is Catch of the Day



Top London restaurants are paying fishermen in Dorset top dollar for their fish through BLUE’s new conservation scheme. The scheme is a unique collaboration between fishermen and conservationists which is helping to protect a 90 square mile reef in Lyme Bay, Dorset, and securing a better living for fishermen in the process. Under the ‘Reserve Seafood’ brand, restaurants are paying higher prices for fish, aware that customers are becoming more discerning over the sustainability of their food choices.

Fishermen in the ports of Lyme Bay on the Dorset and Devon border are making a better living from their fish by practising conservation, thanks to a new scheme launched by the charity, Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE).

In the culmination of a three-year project within a 90 square mile protected area, fishermen have begun to sell their wares under the Reserve Seafood brand to top London restaurants which pay higher prices for fully traceable fish.

They are able to because chefs place a high value on the “boat-to-plate” provenance, the quality and the sustainability of the seafood caught by small inshore fishing boats from West Bay, Lyme Regis, Beer and Axmouth on the Dorset and Devon coast.

The project, a collaboration between the fishermen of the four Lyme Bay ports and the Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE), has installed chiller rooms, ice-makers and freezer units in return for fishermen signing up to a strict conservation code and electronic monitoring.

BLUE’s partners, leading fish merchants Direct Seafoods, collect the day’s catch of fish and shellfish from Lyme Bay ports in the late afternoon, transport it to their London base and by early the following morning, chefs at London’s top restaurants are preparing Reserve Seafood fish for their customers.

45 boats belong to a ground-breaking project started by Blue Marine Foundation which uniquely harnessed the skills and interests of fishermen, conservationists and marine authorities in an effort to regenerate an over-exploited and damaged 90 square miles of reef in Lyme Bay.

Scallop dredging on the reefs was banned in 2008 but fishermen were faced with a new threat: a proliferation of pots and static nets in the protected reef area.  Some reported a decline in catches of as much as 50 per cent.

Enter Blue Marine Foundation who safeguarded the fishermen’s rights of access to the fishery, in return for a stringent conservation code which sets limits on the numbers of nets and pots that may be used and requires every boat to use the mobile-phone-based inshore vessel monitoring system (iVMS), which records every boat’s position and its catches.

Every box of seafood collected by Direct Seafoods carries a Lyme Bay Reserve Seafood label detailing the scheme and the port where landed and this branding is retained all the way through to the chef who will ensure his customers are made aware of the provenance of the food they are eating.

But why do fishermen, battling to make a living in sometimes harsh and dangerous conditions, want to go to the extra bother of taking part in this scheme? The answer is simple: as well as guaranteeing their future livelihoods by fishing responsibly, they are also seeing a significant uplift in prices they earn for supplying premium quality lobsters, brown crabs, diver scallops, bream, bass and rays among many other species. Not only that, but innovative chefs are eager to receive and pay for under-utilised species such as spider crabs, whiting and pouting which were previously thrown back or used for bait.  What’s more, fishermen are reporting an increase of nearly every type of fish in the waters.

Gavin Zieman, a fisherman at Axmouth said: ‘This project has actually made Axmouth harbour.  It’s made it a sustainable, viable port for the small boats that operate out of there.  It makes what we’re catching and landing a lot more attractive to a much wider set of people.  We’ve seen an increase of between 20 and 30 per cent.  Good stable prices, which makes a big difference to us.’

Jim Newton, Chairman of Beer and East Devon Fisherman’s Association described the project as ‘common sense’.  He said Lyme Bay fish is now getting ‘top dollar’ and that the project ‘should have been done years ago.’

Laky Zervudachi, sustainability director at Direct Seafoods, said: “Our chef customers love the fact that they can promote the freshness and quality of the fish they are serving and tell their diners exactly how and where it was caught. Sustainability is a key ingredient.”

Iain Smith of the Berners Tavern, who regularly purchases the Reserve Seafood branded fish said, “This is a great new source of fully sustainable fish. So fresh, from boat to plate – fantastic fish.”

Tim Glover, Blue Marine Foundation’s project director said. “It’s a perfect shop window for the conservation and fishery management work we have been doing in Lyme Bay and gives fishermen something back for having the vision to support lower impact and sustainable fishing. We hope to roll the Reserve Seafood label into other UK projects if and when the criteria can be met in those fisheries”.

Charles Clover, chairman of Blue Marine Foundation, said Reserve Seafood is here to stay: “It’s real evidence that fishing and conservation can work together. BLUE is a marine conservation charity with a global reach, working with governments to protect vast areas of ocean from overfishing. In the UK we are hands on, and we have been working to create win-win outcomes like this”.


A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon




energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”



IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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