Fishermen fear sea rewilding plan for Northumberland islands

Fishermen working out of Holy Island Harbour have said they are are concerned about government plans to ban all fishing and re-wild the sea.

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The government said the proposed area was rich in more than 850 species of seabirds and fish, of which 40 have been identified as threatened.

It said banning commercial and recreational fishing would allow the protection and recovery of marine life.

But fishermen said they would be forced to work from nearby busy harbours.

Richard Ward, who has fished for lobster and crabs out of the harbour since leaving school, said he was worried about the future.

He said: "Fishing is all I've known since leaving school, with my business partner we've worked blood, sweat and tears to build up the fleet we've got now and to hear we might not be able to fish here anymore is mind-boggling."

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is proposing the area becomes a Highly Protected Marine Area (HPMA).

It would cover the area from Goswick to Bamburgh, and includes habitats on the north shore of Lindisfarne (Holy Island), Budle Bay and the outer group of the Farne Islands, but excludes Inner Farne.

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