Eelgrass beds provide a sheltered breeding ground for creatures such as cuttlefish
Eelgrass provides an important habitat for many species
Sadly too common a sight - bags of dog poo hanging from posts and bushes. This is not just anti-social but also a serious health hazard.
Boats at anchor in Cawsand Bay. Please do all you can to protect our fragile eelgrass beds!
Support local fishermen who fish sustainably
It's a long way down to the beaches at Whitsand. Remember that everything you take down needs to come back up!
Mackerel - locally caught, fresh and delicious
Help our local marine environment
Try to avoid eelgrass, which can be easily damaged by pollution from oil, fuel or chemical toilet discharge, bottom-towed fishing gear and anchoring.
Eelgrass was once widespread around Britain, but it is now considered rare and the South West is an important stronghold. Eelgrass beds provide a rich habitat and shelter for many species, including Britain’s two native types of seahorse, and acts as a nursery for many commercial fish species. It also stabilises sediment and protects against coastal erosion.
Boat users should also:
Use onshore toilets where possible
Use environmentally-friendly products and dispose of antifoul waste safely
Dispose of rubbish responsibly on shore
Slow down and keep your distance from dolphins, porpoises, basking sharks and other wildlife. It is an offence to chase or harass these animals. Check out the Wise Scheme site for more information on how to safely watch marine wildlife.
There is a long history of fishing around the Rame Peninsula, which is home to a number of commercial fish and shellfish species.
The marine protected areas around Rame, including the Whitsand and Looe Bay Marine Conservation Zone and the Plymouth Sound and Estuaries Special Area of Conservation, protect various seabed habitats, including eelgrass beds and subtidal reefs. Static gear is far less damaging to these habitats than mobile bottom-towed gear.
Recreational fishing is also important in the area, with mackerel sometimes very abundant during the summer months. However, there has been concern over the status of the bass population and emergency measures have recently been implemented to protect spawning stocks. Anglers are encouraged to only take one or two bass and voluntarily increase the size of fish they land, ideally to 40-45 cm so that females have had a chance to spawn before being caught. For more information on bass protection measures visit the Cornwall Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority website.
To fish responsibly around the Rame Peninsula, please:
Only take what you know you are going to eat and stop fishing when you have as much as you need.
Return undersized and berried crustaceans (females with eggs).
Do not remove claws from crustaceans, as this will leave them to die a slow death, unable to feed.
Stay up to date on local fishing bye-laws by reading this booklet.
When you're shopping or eating out
The Cornish fishing industry is something we should all be proud of, but knowing what fish to buy can be a complicated issue.
Always aim to buy locally-sourced and responsibly-caught fish and seafood (for example hand-picked scallops rather than dredged ones that cause huge damage to the sea bed). This way you'll be supporting environmentally-friendly and sustainable fishing methods and also helping to keep local fishermen in business.
Check out the Cornwall Wildlife Trust's brilliant Cornwall Good Seafood Guide to help you make the right choices, whether you live in Cornwall or are on holiday here, as well as getting some great recipes for your fish and seafood and learning more about Cornwall's sustainable fishing industry.
You can also find out more on the Marine Stewardship Council website about what fish and seafood are 'safe' to eat, and how to cook them.
There is also lots of information on the dedicated Marine Conservation Society site about fish to eat and fish to avoid.
Rubbish and poo
The beaches at Whitsand Bay have difficult access down steep cliff paths. It's a long walk back up the cliff, but please be aware that there are no bins on the beaches and no litter collection either.
So it is your responsibility to take ALL your rubbish back up with you and dispose of it properly. That goes for dog poo bags too!
If you can, please take an extra bag down with you and pick up what you can. Even if you just remove one piece of marine litter that will be one piece less in the sea to do harm to marine life. If everybody did this it could make a big difference to the state of our beaches!
Found a live or dead stranded marine animal? Please go to the 'Report strandings' page under the 'Get involved' section