News 2017

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Sustainable British cod on the menu after stocks recover

The Guardian, Wednesday 19th July 2017

A recovery from near total collapse has led North Sea cod stocks to be labelled as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council for the first time in 20 years.

Fish and chip lovers can now enjoy North Sea cod with a clear conscience, after the fishery was awarded sustainable status by the Marine Stewardship Council on Wednesday. Stocks of cod in the North Sea were once one of the world's great fisheries but plummeted by 84% between the early 1970s and 2006. They came perilously close to the total collapse seen in the Grand Banks fishery off Canada in the early 1990s, which has still not recovered.

But action to decommission fishing boats, ban catches in nursery areas and put larger holes in nets to allow young cod to escape has seen the stock rise fourfold since 2006. The MSC, a non-profit certification group, undertook a detailed 18-month study and has now approved the North Sea cod catch of 228 boats in Scotland and England, which represents the vast majority of the white fish fleet.

Sustainable North Sea cod will carry the MSC's blue label and is expected in supermarkets as early as next week, with Waitrose likely to be among the first to offer the fish. North Sea cod has never been approved by the MSC in the group's 20-year history and the MSC certification also requires fishers to protect cold water corals from damage by trawlers.

Currently, about 90% of cod in the UK is imported, mostly from Iceland and from Norwegian and Russian boats fishing in the Barents Sea, which have all gained MSC sustainability certification in recent years.

But now cod caught and landed in the UK will also be labelled sustainable. UK citizens eat about 70,000 tonnes of cod a year - 1 kg per person - and the proportion of UK cod consumed is now expected to rise. Industry group Seafish estimated there are over 10,000 takeaway fish and chip shops in the UK, serving about 380 million meals a year.

The UK fleet has been given a five-year approval from the MSC, subject to annual checks. The fleet will also have to adapt to new EU rules banning the discarding of bycatch - dead fish for which the fishermen have no landing quota - and the change of management regime after the UK leaves the EU.

The future of fisheries management has been a high profile part of the Brexit debate, with many fishermen arguing that taking control of UK waters would mean more fish for UK boats and better management. However, conservation groups have warned against diluting environmental protection and recent improvements to the common fisheries policy.

James Simpson, from the MSC, said the North Sea cod stocks have just recently reached a sustainable level. "You can literally keep on fishing forever," he said, if the protections against overfishing are maintained. This sustainable stock level is about 40% of the total estimated to once have been present.

Fisheries minister George Eustice said:

"The UK has played a leading role in the recovery of North Sea cod stocks and it's great news that this iconic species has been certified and recognised as sustainable seafood. As we prepare to leave the EU we have an opportunity to improve how we manage fish stocks in our waters."

The action that brought North Sea cod back from the brink hit fishing communities hard, with many boats taken out of service and fishing days limited. Mike Park, chair of the Scottish Fisheries Sustainable Accreditation Group, said:

"This [new accreditation] is a massive development for the catching sector and is a testament to the power of collective action. The years of commitment to rebuilding North Sea cod has shown that fishermen are responsible and can be trusted to deliver stable and sustainable stocks."

Lyndsey Dodds, head of UK marine policy at WWF, agreed that the improvement in cod stock showed what was possible when the fishing industry, managers and scientists worked together. But she said:

"The amount of North Sea cod at breeding age is well below late 1960s levels and recovery remains fragile. If we're to get North Sea cod back on British plates for good, it's vital that we don't lose focus on sustainably managing fish stocks and protecting the marine wildlife as the UK develops its post-Brexit fisheries policy."

The MSC hope their new accreditation for North Sea cod will help end the confusion some UK shoppers felt about the sustainability of cod. A 2015 survey found 28% of people thought cod was not sustainable and should not be eaten, while an equal proportion though the opposite.

Another sustainability scheme run by the Marine Conservation Society currently rates North Sea cod as not sustainable, but this rating is currently under review and could be changed within a month or two. In March, the MSC removed UK haddock from its sustainable seafood list.

There goes the neighbourhood …

KentLive, Monday 17th July 2017

McDonald's has addressed rumours it is to open a new drive-thru restaurant in the old Hole In The Roof pub in Deal.

The Hole In The Roof in Queen Street called its final last orders last week following a farewell party - sparking gossip among locals that McDonald's was to move into the premises.

However, a spokesman for the burger giant quickly quashed suggestions it is to move into the old bar in the town centre - but explained it is still hoping to open in Deal, "monitoring opportunities in the area". They said:

"McDonald's is interested in investing Deal as we believe this would have a positive impact on the area and provide new jobs for local people. Whilst there are currently no concrete plans, we continue to monitor for opportunities in the area."

Deal one of 80 UK finalists in RHS 'Britain in Bloom' 2017 campaign

The Royal Horticultural Society

Deal is a finalist in the Royal Horticultural Society's 'Britain in Bloom' 2017 campaign.

The 'Britain in Bloom' finalists are judged in the fortnight Monday, 31st July to Friday, 11th August with additional judging days on 15th to 19th August, if necessary. Deal was a silver gilt finalist last year.

Click here for further information for finalists.

Anglers save Jasin's restaurant

Dave Chamberlain, Sunday 16th July 2017

A fire was detected by anglers fishing from the lower deck of Deal Pier after 10pm last night. A wheelie bin full of cardboard waste was ablaze outside Jasin's restaurant. The quick thinking of the anglers prevented a major fire that could have destroyed the restaurant and trapped the anglers fishing below. They alerted the Pier attendant who called the fire brigade as the anglers tried to extinguish the bin fire by dousing it with water. The anglers then pushed the wheelie bin to the Pier entrance for the fire brigade to finish off the job. The cause of the fire is unknown but hopefully the Pier's cctv cameras will have recorded the event.

Why Deal is England's best kept beach secret

Natalie Rigg, Condé Nast Traveller, 5th July 2017

A new creative class is turning this quiet town into the next stylish seaside spot.

If Deal were a British bird, it would be an exotic Firecrest: small, spirited and rich in character. Tucked between Ramsgate and Dover on the Kent coastline, the unsung seaside town has long been a destination for those in the know. In fact, until recently, holiday-makers would have been far more inclined to visit nearby Margate, with its off-beat bars, hip vintage shops and acclaimed Turner Contemporary gallery.

Lately, however, Deal has undergone a bit of a renaissance with a smattering of casual wine bars, independent galleries, and vintage markets opening up.

"I love it here" says artist Tim Noble, who moved to the area from east London's Shoreditch in 2013. "It gives me the space I need, both personally and for my work." Alison Whalley made a similar switch, rebranding her cult east London retail space, Hoxton Boutique, as Hoxton Store - a haven for homeware on Deal's leafy High Street.

The intimate, clandestine feel of French wine bar Le Pinardier draws locals and tourists alike. Friday nights are a big draw for jazz musicians who might just spontaneously burst into song and drum on oversized wine barrels. An equally festive evening can be had at the Frog and Scot, a modern bistro which lacks in pretence and excels in fresh, simple seafood like seared scallops and oysters from nearby Whitstable.

Sunday lunch is best served at Victuals & Co, a vibrant restaurant that's hidden away along a narrow, cobble-stone passageway. While its name hints at the past - a reference to the victuallers who once supplied the local ships - its British cuisine remains firmly in the present: a smoked trout terrine with beetroot, Thai-style mackerel and twice-baked cheese soufflé.

For music lovers, a visit to specialist vinyl and craft beer emporium Smugglers Records is a must, while art enthusiasts should head to Linden Hall Studio, an understated art gallery that, according to director Myles Corley, aims to show "the best contemporary work across the entire spectrum of visual art, shifting the focus from London to the smaller creative communities in Kent".

Finally, check into the Bear's Well, a family-run B&B housed within a white Georgian townhouse with modern touches like REN beauty products, homemade jams and a friendly dog-in-residence named Teddy.

Council proposes to turn Deal into green-travel hotspot

KentOnline, Thursday, 29th June 2017

Deal could become a destination of choice for tourists if the council's latest scheme gets funding.

A bid for hundreds of thousands of pounds could see Deal's seafront transformed to make the town a "destination of choice" for cycling and walking holidays in the down season. Deal Town Council is working on a regeneration scheme promoting green travel, for people coming by train and bike. It works with businesses and B&Bs to make venues more wheelchair and cycle friendly and is aimed to create more jobs.

Cllr Sue Beer, who joined Deal Town Council in November 2016, is spearheading the grant application to the government's Coastal Community Fund, which previously awarded other towns more than a million pounds for similar projects. The former grants officer for Kent County Council said:

"Deal looks like a thriving town and most of the time it is, but in the spring, autumn and winter, lots of small businesses still struggle so that's what's we're working on now. We want to help the tourism industry do more in the down season. We want to focus on green travel especially cycling so that people who might come to Deal on a train or bus for a walking or cycling holiday."

Ideas being put forward include streetscape works between The Royal Hotel and the Pier as well as enhancing the High Street with more accessible doorways. She said:

"We want to make all the shops easy to get inside if you've got a buggy or a wheelchair. The money could also help fit automatic doors or ramps."

The funding could also be dished out as grants to help small businesses like B&Bs to become more cycle friendly, with bicycle lock up facilities and repair services. There will also be improvements to cycle paths. She said:

"We're also thinking of doing more events and festivals but in the autumn and winter months."

Cllr Mike Eddy said:

"Deal has got immense potential and what we want to try and do is really build on that and get this place into the best shape for the future."

Cllr Nick Tomaszewski added:

"Deal is a great place and it's good to see local people enhancing and enriching the town."

People are invited to find out more about the bid and have their say on the grant application at the Town Hall tomorrow (Thursday) at 7pm. Town clerk Lorna Crow said:

"If you would like to have your say about Deal Town Council's project and make an input into the plans please come along."

There will be a presentation and light refreshments.

It is hoped the application will be submitted by the autumn and if successful work could start as early as next year.

Find out more by calling Deal Town Council on 01304 361999.

Deal Town Councillors Nick Tomaszewski, Mike Eddy and Sue Beer
with town clerk Lorna Crow

Coastal communities cash application could be finalised within four weeks

KentOnline, Thursday, 6th July 2017

Plans to transform Deal into a year-round destination of choice have taken a step forward after residents shared their views at a meeting. Deal Town Council invited people to a gathering at the town hall on Thursday to hear more about its planned bid to the government's Coastal Communities Fund. Project leader Cllr Sue Beer revealed the grant application requesting hundreds of thousands of pounds for improvement works around the town could be finalised within as little as four weeks, although an exact date inviting people to bid for a share of the money had not been released. She said:

"We've been working on this grant bid for a long time. It's a well-worked up idea, but the meeting was a chance for people to have their say. It's a short, sharp project. It's about economic growth and jobs. There were some interesting suggestions that the town council were interested to hear. The evening was also aimed at attracting volunteer help."

A presentation gave a broad outline of the project, which includes enhancing the seafront seascape on the north side of the Pier. Cllr Beer said:

"We know Deal is a lovely town and lots of people love living here, but it's about making Deal even better. Café culture is a big trend in tourism. It doesn't have to be hot and sunny. We'd like to see a bit more on the sea front."

Working plans include improving the entrance point to South Street and to attract visitors from Deal Castle and Walmer. Disability access is to be boosted, creating a fully accessible town centre. Simple actions like placing doorbells outside shops are also included, plus more arrangements will be made for cyclists. She said:

"If tourism is successful then people come and spend money in all sorts of places, helping the town. We would particularly like to enhance green-travel tourism which doesn't involve parking in the town. We know that Deal is lovely in the summer but we want to extend the season. We want to get heads on beds, with people coming for the weekend not just the day."

Other aspects to the project involve celebrating famous women of Deal, such as 18th century writer Elizabeth Carter, to extend the town's heritage offer, as well as creating a Deal Giant - a youth project to create a model of a symbolic figure to be used in festivals and events.

There are also plans for the town to host more events in the down season, and to encourage the setting-up of new businesses. Cllr Beer added:

"One idea could be turning Deal into a town well known for its micro breweries. Food and drink is a big trend and it's not likely to die out. Could we develop new foods?"

Early ideas from residents at the meeting included improving the walkway from the railway station to the seafront, and providing more disabled toilets. These and other ideas will now be considered by the new Inward Investment Working Group set up by the town council to take the bid forward. Cllr Beer said:

"The working group is about identifying sources of funding, planning projects, successfully applying for grants and taking part in monitoring and reporting activity."

Up to £90 million of funding is available from the Coastal Communities Fund up until 2020/21. The government pot of funds came about because seaside towns were struggling, with many people choosing to holiday abroad. Four rounds have already taken place since 2012. In 2014, Dreamland in Margate was awarded a £1.89 million grant to help bring its Grade II* listed art deco cinema complex back into use. Deal Town Council will be applying for funds in the fifth and final round, which is expected to open before the end of 2017. Cllr Beer said:

"We've still got time to take this from a concept and turn it into something more positive."

Next steps include establishing partnerships, estimating costs and creating a budget.

Eating fish may reduce arthritis symptoms

Science Daily, 21st June 2017

In a recent study, individuals with rheumatoid arthritis who consumed fish twice weekly had lower disease activity (swollen/tender joint counts along with other assessments) than those who ate fish never to <1/month. There was also a graded association, so that increasing servings of fish were linked with incrementally lower levels of disease activity.

Click here to read full report.

Angling Trust demands fair deal for sea anglers in new fisheries bill

Angling Trust: Friday, 23rd June 2017

The Angling Trust has welcomed the announcement of a new Fisheries Bill in Wednesday's Queen's speech. The new bill will be part of a package of 'Brexit' bills due to be enacted over the course of the next two years and aims to enable the UK to control access to its waters and set national fishing quotas once it has left the EU.

The Angling Trust supports the government's commitment to maintain a quota system and steer away from the effort-based systems, such as days-at-sea, which were favoured by some in the commercial fishing industry. All the evidence, including pilot projects, strongly suggests these systems would lead to overfishing and a worsening of the state of fish stocks. However, any new UK quotas will still need to be set in co-operation with the EU, and within safe biological limits, to ensure that stocks are not overfished.

No details have been included about the definition of UK waters and whether the bill intends to declare British sovereignty out to 200 miles or the median line where it applies. However, the Angling Trust is concerned that, as yet, there has been no reference to recreational fisheries and their value to the economy which, for some stocks, makes recreational fishing the primary economic stakeholder in the exploitation of publicly-owned fish stocks supporting more jobs and businesses in coastal communities than commercial fishing for the same stocks.

Management objectives for recreational fishing differ from those of commercial fishing which is only interested in the total number of tonnes of fish that can be harvested. Members of the public who fish recreationally require management measures that deliver abundant, localised, inshore populations of adult, mature, fish. No such measures have been adopted by the UK while a member of the EU as the Common Fisheries Policy has failed to recognise recreational fisheries as a legitimate stakeholder and while the objective of the CFP has focused exclusively on the commercial objective of Maximum Sustainable Yield. The new UK Fisheries Bill presents an opportunity to redress this.

Angling Trust Chief Executive Mark Lloyd is writing to seek an urgent meeting with the new Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Gove, and the Fisheries Minister, George Eustice, as soon as possible to ensure that members of the public fishing recreationally are recognised as equal direct user-stakeholders in the management of our publicly-owned fish stocks. Mark Lloyd said:

"The Angling Trust wants to ensure that the announcement of a new UK Fisheries Bill delivers opportunities for the UK to become a world leader in sea fisheries management by recognising and harnessing the potential social and economic contribution to a post-Brexit UK of a vibrant recreational fishing sector and the principle of public access to publicly-owned sea fisheries resources. However, there is a danger that ministers simply cave in to commercial pressure and swap one regime of over fishing for another."

The government's own report 'Sea Angling 2012' [2] concluded that recreational sea anglers in England in 2012 spent over £1.2 billion and contributed to a total overall spend of over £2 billion annually employing nearly 24,000 people. These enormous economic and employment impacts are derived from a limited number of species that only generate £31 million first sale value to commercial landings. It is therefore essential that future management objectives and measures for jointly targeted species under a new UK Fisheries Bill must fully reflect the needs of the public fishing recreationally. David Mitchell, the Angling Trust's Head of Marine, said:

"The new bill will repatriate powers to manage sea fish stocks in UK waters as we see fit. This also gives the UK the opportunity to be 'best in class' in sea fisheries management. If the government is serious about making a success of Brexit it must ensure that access to fish stocks for members of the public fishing recreationally is given a higher priority with measures in any new bill designed to protect and enhance the many benefits it delivers to communities throughout the country."

The Angling Trust will be publishing its post-Brexit vision for marine fisheries next month and will be campaigning to ensure that access for members of the public fishing recreationally for publicly-owned sea fish stocks is given full consideration as the details of the new Fisheries Bill are developed.

[2] "Sea Angling 2012 - a survey of recreational sea angling activity and economic value in England" is available here.

Promenade Deck closed from 7pm on Friday, 16th June 2017

Kieron Burrett, Technical Support Officer (Property Services), Thursday 15th June 2017

On Friday 16th June fishing will be permitted from the lower deck ONLY from 19:00 to midnight (subject to weather conditions). The Pier's promenade deck will be open as usual before 19:00 but anglers should be aware of preparation works taking place for an organised event at Jasins, the Pier restaurant, which will also be closed to the public from 19:00 (although the toilets will be accessible on request to the security or Pier staff). The event at Jasins is a party for the cast and crew of 'The Tunnel' to celebrate completion of filming of the third (and final) series of the popular Sky TV drama. It's a wrap …

Deal Castle beach water quality improvement scheme

KentOnline, Monday 15th May 2017

Today is the start of the bathing water season. To mark the occasion, Southern Water has announced it will be working alongside local authorities to improve water quality at three beaches in Kent as part of its £31.5 million Bathing Water Enhancement Programme. Deal Castle will receive £3.9 million, Minster Leas £2.8 million and Leysdown £4.9 million to bring their bathing water quality up to an "excellent" standard.

This comes after a year of investigations by coastal sampling teams, microbial (DNA) source tracing and CCTV surveys. Paul Kent, Southern Water's wastewater strategy manager, said:

"We're immensely proud of this groundbreaking project and Deal Castle, Minster Leas and Leysdown were selected after a year-long investigation in the sources of pollution. Our customers asked us to help boost more bathing waters in the region up to 'excellent' standard and, with the support of local authorities and others, that's exactly what we're doing. We're thrilled to be playing such an active part in protecting and enhancing our region's bathing waters."

Detailed investigations into what can affect bathing water quality at these locations found key factors include:

In total, seven bathing waters were chosen to receive investment, with the aim of them achieving an 'excellent' status over the 2019 bathing water season and beyond. The other four were Selsey, Middleton-on-Sea and Worthing in Sussex, and Shanklin on the Isle of Wight.

'The Tunnel' resumes filming in Deal

Monday, 15th May 2017

Filming of the third series of the popular Sky TV drama 'The Tunnel' - produced by the makers of 'Hustle', 'Life on Mars' and 'Broadchurch' and starring Stephen Dillane and Clémence Poésy, resumes in Deal this morning with the parking bays outside Hope & Lane (92A High Street) and behind Deal Town Hall closed for the duration of filming.

Stephen Dillane plays Detective Chief Inspector Karl Roebuck of Northbourne Police (a fictional counterpart to the real life Kent Police), an ageing British detective used to getting his own way. Clémence Poésy plays Capitaine (later Commandant) Elise Wassermann of the DCPJ, a French detective and Roebuck's opposite.

An air date for the third series has not yet been announced.

Editor's Note: The Central Directorate of the Judicial Police (DCPJ), formerly La Sûreté Nationale, is the French national judicial police responsible for investigating and fighting serious crime. To put this into a British context, back in the day Capitaine Wassermann would have been pris en sandwich between Inspector Clouseau and Commissioner Dreyfus … pour le spin off, peut être ?

Deal Classic Motor Show

Saturday, 27th May 2017

Click here and here for details.

See the Damlier once owned by Sir Norman Wisdom at the Deal Classic Motor Show on 27th May 2017. As a young boy Norman Wisdom lived in Downs Road, Walmer, Deal and was inspired to become an actor when watching a feature film being made at the Lifeboat Station.

Pier closes at midnight on Saturday 13th May

Douglas Pettit, Friday 12th May 2017

The Pier will be closed from midnight, Saturday 13th May until 10:00 Sunday 14th May.

Pier closes at midnight on Saturday 6th May

Douglas Pettit, Thursday 4th May 2017

The Pier will be closed from midnight, Saturday 6th May until 10:00 Sunday 7th May.

Lost Property

Friday, 24th March 2017

A visitor from France, Laurent Barme, left his backpack in Jasin's restaurant yesterday. Neither Jasin's nor the Pier Attendant have any knowledge of the lost property. It is likely that a restaurant customer has walked off with the backpack. The local police are not interested in lost property: "We don't take reports of lost property so don't issue crime reference numbers for insurance purposes". A £50 reward is offered for the safe return of its contents which are of considerable personal importance to the owner but which have little or no commercial value. Please email me ( or contact the Pier Attendant (01304 363815) if you have any information about the missing backpack and its contents.

Deal ranked top in 20 best places to live by the sea in Britain

Kent Online, 17th March 2017

Deal has made it to the top in a list of 20 best places to live by the sea. According to The Times, Deal is no longer a "secret" retreat but a well-linked coastal town offering long beaches and plenty of choice when it comes to dining. Writer Liz Rowlinson said:

"Now easily reached from London by the Javelin high-speed train, it's a place for long walks along the two-mile pebble beach and has dozens of pubs, coffee shops and restaurants on its award-winning high street and grade II listed pier." [1]

She gives reference to the sought-after houses in the Middle Street conservation area where a grade II listed three-bedroom terrace is worth £415,000.

Ian Dunkerley, owner of Dunkerley's Seafood Restaurant Hotel on Deal's Beach Street, was not surprised by the news. He said:

"I always knew Deal was a jewel in the crown of the White Cliffs and I used that strap line many years ago having run businesses in the town for almost 40 years. As it becomes more of a tourist destination and more people start to discover Deal, it is up to the council and planners to ensure it remains the historic hidden gem that it is. We must keep our feet on the ground."

Only two years ago, the same newspaper listed Deal as 23rd on the list of 30 best places to live by the sea. The Times also listed Deal as one of the top 30 best places to visit for a weekend retreat in April 2014, when it was commended for its "fifties vibe" and its mix of writers, musicians and business people. The Telegraph also considered Deal to be one of the top 20 towns to consider relocating to.

[1] Editor's note: Dover District Council confirms that Deal Pier is not a listed structure.

Italian restaurant to open on Deal seafront this Easter

KentLive, 3rd March 2017

An Italian restaurant is set to open on Beach Street in Deal by Easter. A former council-owned entertainments centre known as The Quarterdeck, opposite Deal Pier, will be converted into an Italian restaurant, with work starting as early as next week.

The news follows the opening of the Quarterdeck's larger commercial unit as a fish restaurant by Hythe Bay in November 2016. Its Italian neighbour also hoped to open before Christmas 2016, but work has been delayed for unknown reasons. According to the Quarterdeck's commercial developer, Rogate, the eatery now aims to open before Easter, which falls on Sunday, 16 April. A spokesperson for Rogate said:

"As far as we know, the owner is aiming to start work in the next week and is proposing to open sometime before Easter."

Rogate also confirmed that the restaurant is a local establishment and not a national chain.

Pier lower deck storm repairs

Dave Chamberlain, Saturday 18th February 2017

Temporary repairs have been made to the Pier's lower deck, allowing the centre and south side of which to reopen to anglers.

However, night fishing is suspended and the Pier will continue to close at midnight (on Saturday) until further notice. Call the Pier attendant to confirm: 01304 363815

Pier temporary closure

Douglas Pettit, Friday 10th February 2017

Due to staff sickness, the Pier will be closed from midnight on Saturday until 8 am Sunday, 12th February.

Hope & Lane temporary closure, Wednesday 8th February 2017

Sean Humphreys, Hope & Lane

Hope & Lane, 92A High Street, will be closed for the day on Wednesday, 8th February for resumption of filming of ITV's new 'romantic thriller' "Liar", starring Joanne Froggatt and Ioan Gruffudd and directed by Sam Donovan.

Customers desperate for a frothy coffee and a curly pastry thingy tomorrow should head for Hope & Lane on The Strand, Walmer.

Click here to view details of last November's filming of 'Liar'.

Tidal surge closes Pier lower deck

Report by Dave Chamberlain, Saturday 14th January 2017

The North Sea tidal surge forecast for Friday evening has adversely affected the beach and Pier with the strong north wind getting behind the spring tide raising the sea level. In the early hours of Saturday morning the tide exceeded the predicted height and swept up to the promenade causing shingle to be deposited from the foreshore. The Pier's lower deck was submerged sustaining damage resulting in closure. However, the promenade deck remains open to the public and anglers.