A WILDLIFE charity has welcomed a new trawler fishing ban that has come into force off the Sussex coast.

Damaging trawl fishing has been prohibited in more than 100 square miles of seabed to help once vast kelp forests recover.

Thea Taylor, from the Brighton Dolphin Project, said: “The new Nearshore Trawling Bylaw is a brilliant start at restoring an incredibly important local marine habitat.

“Kelp forests are not only beneficial for the vast numbers of marine organisms they support but also for local people who will benefit from the multitude of ecosystem services they provide such as cleaner water, reduced impact from storms and increased abundance of commercially important fish species.”

The bylaw, which was led by the Help Our Kelp project, will be hugely beneficial for marine life along the Sussex coast as kelp forests begin to regrow.

Kelp forests provide shelter for a variety of sea life, as well as helping lock up carbon in the oceans.

She added: “Our Sussex dolphins will also benefit because kelp acts as a nursery ground for prey species, including gadoid fish such as cod, and because it provides a refuge from fishing.

“This is a huge result for the Help our Kelp project who have worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome.”

The Argus: A dolphin which was found on Brighton beach on Sunday, with netting around its tail A dolphin which was found on Brighton beach on Sunday, with netting around its tail

The Brighton Dolphin Project are a local group who are part of the World Cetacean Alliance and aim to educate people on looking after our oceans.

Tim Dapling, chief fisheries and conservation officer for the Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority commented on the impact for both wildlife and local businesses.

He said: “The authority has spent several years carefully working toward the introduction of this important new management measure.

“There has been great interest and support within Sussex and the wider marine community regarding our work to both protect the marine environment and promote sustainable commercial and recreational fisheries.

“This is a key step toward more sustainable fisheries and delivery of positive outcomes for all. Future work will include assessing habitat recovery, biological productivity and benefits to the inshore fishing community.”