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1 February 2010

My week

Our Cumbria liaison officer Holly Deary didn’t let last month’s snow get in the way of meeting some of the county’s fishermen.
"On a dreich Monday evening in January, despite a dumping of snow, seven members of the Windscale Boat club kindly met with me at their social night in the Falcon club, Egremont.
After overcoming my poor sense of direction I found the club and gave an informal presentation on the Irish Sea Conservation Zones project. We spent time chatting about the nature of the boater’s club, the activities they take part in and the areas that they enjoy boating in. The club members are keen to have their say, so we are arranging another date to meet, during which we can look at some maps and work our way through some questionnaires.
In spite of discussions about potentially postponing the evening’s next gathering, the hardy Solway Aqua Club weren’t going to let snow hold them back, so onwards I travelled to meet them in Parton. They too listened to a presentation about the project, and afterwards we discussed the stakeholder group (which will make represent sea users and make recommendations about which part of the Irish Sea should be protected, and how).
On Wednesday, after getting caught up in the horrendous rush hour traffic of Carlisle, I hit the open road bound for Kirkcudbright. Despite being distracted by the beautiful countryside I made it safely to Borgue where I met with Tommy Clark from Deefish. I introduced the project to him with a few slides.
Later, back in Kirkcudbright I met with John King of West Coast Sea Products. With John having attended our workshop in Penrith back in October he was already familiar with the project, so we a spent time mulling over a map of the project area and discussing important scallop grounds. In the near future I will head back up to Kirkcudbright and go through mapping these areas in detail.
On Thursday I visited our local Marine and Fisheries Agency officer to discuss trying to overcome the problem of obtaining an accurate list of fishing vessels operating in Cumbria and southern Scotland, which proved productive as we now feel we have a bit more of a lead on it."