News 2016

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2016 New Year's Eve fireworks in Deal

Kentlive, Wednesday, 28th December 2016

Be part of Deal's annual New Year's Eve fireworks display on the seafront. This free event wows merry crowds every year and is a great way for families and friends to safely celebrate the occasion.

The seafront fireworks display will light up the Deal sky for 20 minutes at midnight on Saturday, 31st December.

Beach Street is the ideal place to watch the display.

Parking is free in all council-owned car parks until Monday, 2nd January. Parking charges will still apply in the Sainsbury's and Co-op car parks and all other parking restrictions, such as yellow lines, will continue to be enforced.

Car parks in Deal:

Other New Year's Eve events in Deal:

Pier's toilets closed

Douglas Pettit, Wednesday, 28th December 2016

The Pier's toilets - located in Jasin's restaurant at the Pier Head - are closed pending repair of the macerator. For news of progress with the repairs please call the Pier Attendant (01304 363815).

Pier's lower deck reopened

Douglas Pettit, Friday 23rd December 2016

The south-facing section of the Pier's lower deck has been reopened to visitors and anglers.

Brrraving the elements on Boxing Day

Kent Live, 20th December 2016

Thousands are expected to brrrave the elements for the annual Boxing Day and New Year's Day dips in Deal:

  1. When: Monday, 26th December at 11am
  2. Where: Deal Pier

Take part in this traditional dip (or wrap up warm and be a supportive spectator) and help to raise money for good causes. You can watch from the pier or the beach. Wear fancy dress if you like.


2017 fishing opportunities in the North East Atlantic: EU Council agreement

Council of the European Union, Wednesday 14th December 2016

On 12th December 2016 the Agriculture and Fisheries Council reached a political agreement on a regulation concerning the 2017 catch limits for the main commercial fish stocks in the Atlantic, the North Sea and international fisheries in which EU vessels participate. The agreement is based on the objective of achieving maximum sustainable yields (MSYs) by 2017 where possible, and by 2020 at the latest, while taking into account specific and fully justified socio-economic circumstances. Said Gabriela Matečná, Minister for agriculture and rural development of Slovakia and president of the Council:

"Sustainability has been the driver of today's agreement: the sustainability of our fish stocks, but also that of our fisheries sector. We have successfully reconciled different opinions to the benefit of all parties involved, and established the basis for the achievement of maximum sustainable yield."

The EU's ultimate objective is to bring the stocks to levels that can deliver MSY. This objective is one of the pillars of the reformed CFP, which requires that the MSY objective shall be achieved at the latest by 2020 for all stocks.

The CFP regulation also introduced the landing obligation which is progressively applicable from the beginning of 2015 to 2019. This means that fish that in the past would have been discarded have to be landed. As the landing obligation, which is already in place for certain demersal fisheries in the North Sea, North-Western and South-Western Atlantic waters, will be extended further in 2017, the Commission proposed to compensate for this with the so-called "TAC top-ups" for certain fish stocks.

On 13th December the Council adopted the following measures for sea bass in 2017:

The decision of the Council takes into account that artisanal hooks and line fisheries depend on sea bass to a greater extent and may not have other alternatives to catch.

Recreational anglers are asked to practise a catch and release fishery in the first half of the year and to limit their catches to one fish per day in the second half of 2017.

The Council also decided to close an area around Ireland for commercial fishing, namely the Celtic Sea, Irish Sea, south of Ireland and west of Ireland (ICES areas VIIa, b, c, g, j, k outside the UK 12 mile zone). This extends a national measure, which Ireland has had in place for Irish vessels since 1990, to cover all EU vessels active in the area.

The decision takes effect from 1st January 2017.

Halting the decline of sea bass and rebuilding this valuable stock is the objective of the Commission. Numerous jobs in the UK, France, Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe depend on commercial and recreational sea bass fishing and there are many small scale fishermen involved for whom sea bass is often their main source of income.

Recreational fishing (everything from angling equipment to boat rentals) plays an important role as well. There are more than 1.3 million recreational anglers in France and another 800,000 in the UK generating a lot of added value.

Estimates from various surveys suggest that the downstream value added is considerable. A potential collapse of this stock would have a very serious impact on the livelihoods of many fishermen and coastal communities. It is therefore vital to rebuild sea bass for the benefit of both commercial fishermen and recreational anglers: see "Sea Angling 2012 - a survey of recreational sea angling activity and economic value in England", Defra (2013) and Final Report:

"The surveys estimated there are 884,000 sea anglers in England, with 2% of all adults going sea angling. These anglers make a significant contribution to the economy - in 2012, sea anglers resident in England spent £1.23 billion on the sport, equivalent to £831 million direct spend once imports and taxes had been excluded. This supported 10,400 full-time equivalent jobs and almost £360 million of gross value added (GVA). Taking indirect and induced effects into account, sea angling supported £2.1 billion of total spending, a total of over 23,600 jobs, and almost £980 million of GVA."

"… Almost 4 million days of sea angling were recorded over the year. Shore fishing was the most common type of sea angling - almost 3 million angler-days compared with 1 million for private or rented boats and 0.1 million on charter boats. Anglers had most success on charter boats, catching 10 fish per day on average compared with around 5 from private boats and only 2 from the shore … The most common species caught, by number, were mackerel and whiting. Shore anglers released around 75% of the fish caught, many of which were undersized, and boat anglers released around 50% of their fish."

Deal beach clean: Sunday, 29th January 2017

Deal With It: Sunday, 11th December 2016

The next Deal beach clean will take place on Sunday, 29th January 2017 - meet at 10am on the Pier Approach.

At last, a reason to go to the theatre …

Time Out: Wednesday, 7th December 2016

See the Oscar, BAFTA, Olivier and Tony-award winning actor, Mark Rylance, star in 'Nice Fish' - an oddball, surreal comedy that he co-wrote with poet Louis Jenkins. About two middle-aged Midwesterners on an ice-fishing trip at the end of fishing season, the pair bond while angling for something, a pure need that can swallow them whole. Time Out has managed to net you up to 49% off selected performances from now until 31st December. That means you can hook your tickets for as little as £15.

Mark Rylance is often touted to be the best living stage actor in the world. And with a barrage of awards, a list of stage performances longer than your leg and Steven Spielberg knocking on his door every five minutes, it's pretty safe to say that he's a national treasure. With those credentials, it's no surprise his new play, 'Nice Fish', has received a flurry of rave reviews. Co-written with poet Louis Jenkins and starring Rylance himself along with the original New York cast, this is an absolute must-see before it swims out of the West End.

On an ice fishing expedition where the ordinary and extraordinary collide, two old friends are out on the ice and they are angling for something big, something down there that is pure need, something that, had it the wherewithal, would swallow them whole.

Told using Jenkins' signature prose poetry, this is a remarkable, original show was awarded four stars by our theatre editor, and Rylance's performance was called 'utterly magnificent'. See this sensational play for as little as £15.

Click Time Out for details.

Deal and Walmer's Piscatorial Past

Review by Alan Yates

Deal and Walmer's Piscatorial Past by Dave Chamberlain, photographs by Basil Kidd, document the remarkable sea angling catches of the 1960s and 70s and the dramatic decline of the shore and boat fishing in the south east of England since that time. Some readers may say that the anglers themselves did the damage with their disgraceful piles of dead cod and pollack. Others that it was the commercial fleets who have also long gone. Whatever, the fact remains that in those days when PC didn't mean anything other than Police Constable, huge rod and line catches of fish were commonplace and they were simply laid out and photographed.

Dave Chamberlain was a charter skipper in those days and he and his beach-launched boat, Morning Haze, plied their trade from the Deal shore. Basil Kidd, now departed, was the local news photographer who would go anywhere anytime for a big fish picture. Between them they have produced a remarkable history of the changes that have occurred to sea angling nationally and this small section of the Kent shore in the very recent past. A great addition to any sea angler's book collection.

The Book, ISBN 978-0-9548439-4-6, is published by Beaches Books and is available for £3.99 on Amazon, eBay, Pleasure Angling and Channel Angling.

Deal beach clean: Sunday, 4th December 2016

Deal With It: Sunday, 4th December 2016 at 10 am

Pier's lower deck closed by storm damage

Douglas Pettit, Monday 21st November 2016

The lower deck of the Pier is closed following damage sustained at the weekend during Storm Angus. The promenade deck remains open to visitors and anglers.

Britsh Sea Fishing Newsletter

Britsh Sea Fishing, October 2016

Fishing at the 2020 Olympics ?: The international governing body of fishing has applied for fishing to be a sport at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The Rome-based Confederation Internationale de la Peche Sportive represents fifty million anglers in seventy countries and says that the popularity of fishing means that it would add to the Olympic Games and the "ancient and fair completion system" used in fishing make it well suited to the Olympics. All fish caught at an Olympic event would be returned to unharmed. Despite concerns that fishing would be too boring to be a televised Olympic sport former athlete and keen angler Dean Macey came out in favour of fishing gaining Olympic status. Macy, who competed in the decathlon in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and has presented fishing-based TV shows on the Discovery Channel, told the Daily Mirror "millions of people across the world go fishing, why shouldn't it form part of the planet's biggest sporting event ?" Angling has actually featured at an Olympic Games before, being an exhibition event at the 1900 games in Paris, although there was no recorded winner. Read more on this story here.

Campaign to Boycott Wild Caught Bass: Concern over stock levels has led to the Marine Stewardship Council to begin a campaign to boycott wild caught bass. It is well known that Europe's bass stocks have declined to dangerously low levels, and there is growing frustration that governments across Europe are not taking decisive action to save this species. The campaign aims to encourage people to eat farmed bass, or an alternative species such as mackerel or hake. They also want a ban on commercial fishing for bass for the first six months of 2017, and a total ban on all fishing for bass in the species breeding ground during the breeding season. Read more here.

Cromer Pier Fishing Ban ?: Fishing could be banned from popular Norfolk fishing mark Cromer Pier due to hooks and weights left by anglers. Discarded line and snagged fishing weights have been reportedly found around the lifeboat station area, and windows of the boat house have been cracked by fishing weights. With angling becoming more popular on the pier there are concerns over safety and the pier's owner North Norfolk District Council have already banned fishing from parts of the pier and could ban fishing entirely. No decision has yet been taken and angers who regularly fish from their pier maintain that it is a small number of anglers who cause problems. Read the full story here.

Do Cod Have Regional Dialects ?: Research was released this month which showed that fish species - especially cod - may use sound to communicate with each other much more than previously realised. While fish do not have vocal chords they can vibrate their swim bladder to make grunting and rumbling noises and may use these sounds to find other fish in a shoal or warn each other of approaching danger. Steve Simpson, a marine scientist at the University of Exeter, carried out the research by dragging hydrophones through the sea to capture the sounds of the marine environment. He found that cod may actually have something similar to regional dialects, with fish from one area creating a different type of sound to fish from other areas. However, the increasing amount of noise which is being created in the seas around Britain and the wider world may have a negative impact on cod and other species. Rising levels of marine traffic, oil and gas exploration, laying of underwater pipeline and the powerful sonar used by military vessels all create sounds which can drown out the natural communication between fish. Scientists have yet to fully understand how fish use sound to communicate and more research is needed into this area. Read the full article on the BBC website here.

Silver Eel Discoveries: The silver eel (also known as the European eel) has puzzled scientists for centuries. Silver eels are born in the sub-tropical areas of the Atlantic Ocean and then begin an epic migration to Europe. Once there they enter estuaries and rivers and spend many years living in a freshwater environment before returning to the sea and living in saltwater for a number of years. At some point the fully grown eels will swim thousands of miles back to the warmer areas of the Atlantic where they will give birth and then die, with their offspring repeating the process. Many aspects of the silver eel's life is a mystery, such as how they find their way thousands of miles across the Atlantic, and what triggers them to begin the journey. However, the results of a five-year study have been published in the journal Science Advances has shed light on some aspects of the silver eel's life cycle. Hundreds of eels were tagged and tracked from five locations in Europe and it was found that only a small proportion of the eels arrived for what was previously thought to be the peak spawning season in the Spring, while many others arrived later in the year and waited until the following Spring before spawning. Furthermore many eels took a long an indirect route to the spawning grounds, rather than the shortest and most direct route. While the study has helped explain how the silver eels get across the Atlantic, the reasons for some eels taking an indirect route remain a mystery. Silver eels are classed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) with commercial exploitation of the eels at all stages of their life, along with blocks and barriers to migration heavily decreasing silver eel numbers in recent decades. Read the full BBC article here.

Healthy Fats in Salmon Halved: The amount of healthy omega-3 fats in salmon have halved in less than a decade due to changes in the way farmed salmon are fed. Farmed salmon were once fed a fish-based diet which led to high levels of omega-3 building up in the fish. However, concern over damage being done to stocks of small wild fish (such as sandeels) to feed farmed salmon has led to more plant-based feed being given to salmon in fish farms. This change in diet has led to the fall in omega-3 in farmed salmon from 3.5 grams per 130 gram portion in 2006 to 1.75 grams in 2015. The team who carried out the research stressed that salmon was still the best source of omega-3 (which helps fight heart disease and arthritis amongst other illnesses) and farmed salmon still had more omega-3 than wild salmon, as wild fish use up much of their fat reserves on long migrations. Read the full article in the Daily Mail here.

Baltic Cod Quotas Slashed: Quotas of Baltic cod - a species close to commercial extinction - have been reduced, but still remain higher than scientists recommend. Conservationists and scientists had been hoping for a cut close to 90% as this was the level that ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Seas) recommended, but the cut which was imposed by the European Union was just 56%. In a story which will be typical to anyone familiar with EU fishing policy the advice of scientists was rejected due to pressure from Denmark which believed that a 90% cut would leave its fishermen with too few fish to catch. The amount of cod caught will now be 5,000 to 6,000 tons, down from over 12,000 tons. If ICES advice had been followed less than 1,000 tons would have been caught each year. Read more here.

No Take Zone Shows Mixed Results: A no take zone off the coast of Scotland has shown mixed results after an investigation. The zone is located in Lamlash Bay in the Isle of Arran on Scotland's west coast and all forms of fishing have been banned within the zone since 2008. An investigation saw a range of sea creatures being tagged and tracked and found that lobsters inside the one mile square zone have increased in size and number and are now more likely to carry eggs. However, commercially valuable brown crabs have decreased inside the zone, possibly as a result of the lobsters outcompeting them for food. The zone was set to try and reverse the alarming decline of fish stocks within the Firth of Clyde. Read more by clicking here.

Fish Farming Overtakes Wild Caught Fish: A report issued by the United Nations showed that - on a global basis - fish farming now produces more fish for human consumption than catching wild fish. In the early 1970s fish farming (also known as aquaculture) accounted for around 7% of fish for human consumption but the massive increase in captive fish production has seen this increase to over 50%. The report pointed out that it is Asian nations which have led the increase in aquaculture - China alone accounts for 60% of the world's farmed fish and only four European nations are in the top twenty-five captive fish producing countries. With human demand for seafood increasing across the world aquaculture and fish farming is set to continue to expand. Read more by clicking here.

Royal Navy Criticised for Trawler Incident: The Royal Navy has been criticised for its "lack of transparency" following an incident which saw a trawler's nets become snagged by a submarine. The Karen was fishing fifteen miles away from Ardglass, one of Northern Ireland's biggest fishing ports in April 2015 when the trawler was pulled backwards through the sea when a Royal Navy submarine collided with its nets. The crew had to scramble to cut the nets and around £10,000 of damage was caused to the 60ft trawler. While the crew were unharmed the fishing vessel could easily have been capsized. They Royal Navy took five months to admit that it was at fault for the incident, and maintain that the crew of the submarine were not aware that they had caught the nets of a trawler. The Royal Navy also said that the incident happened because they believed that the Karen was a cargo vessel, meaning they did not give it the wide berth they should have done to avoid the nets. In 1990 the Scottish trawler Antares was sunk and the crew of four all lost their lives when HMS Trenchant, a Trafalgar-class nuclear powered submarine of the Royal Navy collided with its nets. Major changes were put in place to avoid a repeat of the incident, and the report into the incident with the Karen expressed concern that many of the lessons learned after the loss of the Antares were being lost. Read more here.

Fin Whale On Norfolk Coast: A 12 metre long fin whale washed up on the Norfolk coast at Holkham this month. Although rare in UK waters fin whales are present. They are one of the largest animals to ever live on planet earth and can grow up to 27 metres long and weigh over seventy tons. The local authorities requested that people stay away while arrangements were made to get a specialist contracting company in to remove the carcass. Initial indications are that the whale died after receiving a spinal injury after being struck by a ship. The stranding of this fin whale - a species designated as Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature - comes after thirty large whales, mostly sperm whales, have been found washed up around the North Sea coastline of Europe so far this year, and four fin whales have washed up on beaches around the UK. Read more here.

Brexit "Will Benefit Scotland's Fishing Industry": While Scotland voted to remain in the EU in the June referendum, Scotland's fishermen overwhelmingly believe that leaving the European Union, and with it the Common Fisheries Policy, will allow Scotland's fisheries to thrive. In meetings in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh this month representatives of Scotland's fishing industry explained that regaining control of the UK territorial waters would allow more effective management of fish stocks and fairer opportunities for fish catches. They also stated that fisheries should be put at the heart of the negotiations to leave the EU, and it would be "unforgivable" if fishing rights were traded away during the negotiations. Read more here.

EU Ban on Atlantic Bass Fishing ?: The European Union has proposed a total ban on the commercial fishing of bass in the Atlantic, in an attempt to halt a collapse in stocks. Other species such as Celtic Sea cod and sole in the Irish Sea would also see major cuts to their quotas, although some species such as North Sea mackerel and Irish Sea haddock will see quotas increased. At this stage the ban on commercial fishing of bass is only proposed, and will not be confirmed until a meeting of EU ministers in December. It is not known how bass quotas elsewhere around the UK will be affected, but large reductions are likely as scientists believe that bass stocks throughout Europe are below safe biological limits. The impact on anglers is also unknown. The catch-and-release only status for rod and line caught bass in the first half of 2016, followed by one bass per day for the rest of the year was hugely controversial, and it has been mooted that anglers could be restricted to keeping ten bass per month in 2017. Read more on the Guardian website by clicking here.

Bass Restrictions Impact on Charter Boats: In a related story charter boat skippers complained this month that restrictions on bass fishing are seriously damaging their business. The Dorset Echo reported that the catch-and-release only policy which was in force from January to June of this year, followed by one bass per day from July to December had led to charter boat revenues reducing by a fifth in 2016. The charter skippers believe that the restrictions on rod and line anglers are unfair when commercial fishermen, who catch a much higher proportion of bass, do not have to put up with the same restrictions. The skippers were also unhappy that the measure had been imposed on them without any form of consultation on how it would impact on their business. The paper also reported that guest houses in the area had closed as a direct result of the decline in charter boat trips. Read the full article here.

Ireland Mussel Dredging Concerns: The impact that industrial mussel dredging has on the marine environment around Ireland was highlighted this month, with a fisherwoman who works out of Dublin Bay stating that the dredging was making the area smell like "rotting corpses". Industrial dredging vessels have operate close to the shoreline of Dublin and the rest of Ireland, often to gather young mussels to populate farms. A spokesman for the Irish Wildlife Trust expressed concern that the dredging had become "uncontrolled" and said that the vessels were "literally scraping the bottom of the sea". He also expressed concern that if nothing was done then Irish waters could end up full of jellyfish and little else. However, the Irish Supreme Court has recently ruled that mussels within six miles of the shoreline are "state assets" and protection will be brought in to conserve stocks, meaning that the industrial vessels will be banned from harvesting mussels close to the shore. Read more here.

Drone Caught Fish: A Russian angler caught a fish using a drone, rather than a rod and line - on his very first attempt. Semyon Konev from the central Russian region of Krasnoyarsk Krai filmed the catch on both his smartphone and with a camera on the drone itself. Drone fishing could be set to increase in popularity, but critics fear that this form of fishing is unsporting and too far removed from traditional rod and line angling. Read more and see the footage here.

FREE parking in Deal this Christmas

Kent Live, Wednesday, 9th November 2016

Shoppers in Deal will be able to park for free this Christmas. Dover District Council is encouraging people to show their support for High Street shops and small businesses with free parking in its car parks for Small Business Saturday on Saturday 3rd December 2016, and for two weeks over the key Christmas trading period from Monday 19th December 2016 to Monday 2nd January 2017 inclusive.

Parking charges will still apply in the Sainsbury's Car Park in Deal, and at the Co-op (St Ethelburga's and Park Street Car Parks) in Deal. All other parking restrictions, like yellow lines will continue to be enforced throughout the district. On-street parking charges will also be lifted.

With many retailers now gearing up for the festive season, DDC wants more people to recognise the value, quality and choice that local, independent traders provide. Cllr Nigel Collor, DDC portfolio holder for access, said:

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of our town centre in Deal and we know how important this time of year is for independent traders on the high street. We hope that people working in the town will park where they usually do to allow customers to take advantage of this offer of free parking, and that this initiative goes some way to promoting increased trade in our town centres."

Temporary Pier closures: Monday 14th to Thursday 17th November

Dover DC Property Services, Wednesday 9th November 2016

Deal Pier will be temporarily closed between Monday 14th and Thursday 17th November whilst a new ITV 'romantic thriller' "Liar", starring Joanne Froggatt and Ioan Gruffudd and directed by Sam Donovan, is filmed:

Monday, 14th November

Tuesday, 15th November

Wednesday, 16th November

Thursday, 17th November

East Kent Mercury, Thursday 17th November 2016

Eliza Mellor, who has worked on 'The Living and the Dead', 'Poldark' and 'Death comes to Pemberley', is producing the series and told the Mercury:

"Having visited Deal on several occasions over recent years, I thought it would be a good location for 'Liar'. The director fell in love with the Pier and the wonderful quality of light in Deal. We are filming here and in Kingsdown for six days, and Dover District Council have been extremely helpful in giving us access to the Pier. We will be back in the new year for another block of filming."

The series, made up of six episodes of 60 minutes, is due to air in September or October 2017.

Dover District Council would like to apologise for any inconvenience that these filming activities may cause. For further information about the temporary Pier closures and restrictions, please contact Kieron Burrett at (01304 872442 and 07834 172289).

Click here to view full details of these closures.

Pier's lower deck closed by storm damage

Douglas Pettit, Tuesday 8th November 2016

The lower deck of the Pier is closed pending a survey of damage sustained during yesterday's strong north-easterly winds. The promenade deck remains open to visitors and anglers. Prompt repairs are likely as the Pier is to host filming by ITV early next week.

The lower deck has now been reopened but please avoid the roped-off sections awaiting repair.

See news article above for full details of the temporary Pier closures planned to accommodate next week's filming activities.

The north (Ramsgate facing) section of the lower deck has been closed today, Friday 11th November, pending the outcome of a more detailed survey of the storm-damaged platform. The south (Dover facing) section of the lower deck remains open to anglers, as does the promenade deck (stem).

EU proposes total commercial fishing ban on Atlantic bass

The Guardian, Thursday 27th October 2016

Move would also cut Scottish whiting catches to zero, while Celtic cod and Irish sole face hefty reductions to prevent stocks collapsing.

The European commission has proposed closures on commercial fishing for bass in the Atlantic and whiting in the waters west of Scotland from next year, in order to prevent a collapse in fish stocks. The total allowable catch (TAC) for cod in the Celtic Sea will also be cut by 68% under the plan, while sole quotas in the Irish Sea will be trimmed by a hefty 82%. The move, to cut bass catches from 570 tonnes a year to zero, follows what the EU calls "very alarming" advice from fisheries scientists, who found that numbers had fallen below "safe biological limits".

The same was true for Celtic cod, although cod from the North Sea which makes up a much higher percentage of British catches is in a healthier state and will be unaffected.

"Celtic Sea cod could collapse" without the proposed limits, one EU official said. "There is a reason why scientists are recommending such harsh proposals" the source added. "There are just not enough fish in the sea." The official dismissed any hope that the share of overall fish catches allocated to the UK could change after Brexit. "This is not on the table" the official told the Guardian.

A final decision on next year's quotas will be taken by EU ministers at a summit in December. EU sources predicted a "very difficult" meeting at the council, where ministers traditionally vie to appear strong in defence of their domestic fishing industries. The news for the UK's fishermen from Brussels was not all bad. Quotas for sole in the western Channel will be raised 20% and for haddock in the Irish Sea by 7% while North Sea mackerel landings will also go up.

Exemptions from the sea bass embargo are slated for anglers, who will be able to catch 10 sea bass a month in 2017 - down from 30 - and for artisanal hook-and-line fishermen, whose catch limit will only be reduced to 10 tonnes a year.

But quotas for herring, whose numbers have plunged in recent years, will be cut by 16%.

A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said:

"Quotas play a crucial role in ensuring the sustainability of our stocks, striking a balance between a profitable fishing industry and flourishing marine environment. We will work hard in upcoming negotiations to secure the best possible deal for the UK fishing industry - both now, and for the future."

The EU's environment commissioner, Karmenu Vella, said:

"We need to bring all stocks to healthy and sustainable levels as soon as possible so that our fishing industry can remain viable. We are proposing an ambitious programme for 2017 and the only way forward will be to work with fishermen, scientists and national authorities to develop real solutions that lead to fisheries that are both economically profitable and sustainable."

The EU's common fisheries policy has promised to phase out overfishing by 2020, by imposing a maximum sustainable yield system that can lower or raise fishing quotas according to scientific advice about the health of stocks. For 2017, the commission foresees a rise in TACs for sole in the western Channel, Norway lobster, anglerfish, haddock, hake and horse mackerel, mostly in the North Sea. But big reductions have also been pencilled in for cod, sole, plaice, megrim and pollack in the Celtic and Irish Seas.

Conservationists welcomed the commission's announcement. Lasse Gustavsson, the European director of charity Oceana, said:

"Nearly half of all fish populations in the Atlantic - and particularly the North Sea - are being overfished. Any deviation from scientific advice would simply be irresponsible governance. The potential that stock recovery holds for the environment, and also for jobs in the fishing industry, is huge."

Hythe Bay to open restaurant on Deal waterfront

Kent Live, Wednesday 2nd November 2016

Hythe Bay Restaurants, with waterfront sites in Hythe and Dover, is to open another eatery in Deal this month. The former council-owned entertainments centre known as The Quarterdeck, opposite Deal Pier, is being converted by its new owners into a seafood restaurant.

'Quality not compromise' is owner Turrloo Parrett's motto and diners can expect a warm welcome as well as complimentary freshly baked bread rolls and freshly made fish paté when the restaurant opens in November. Their main menu, which includes non-fish options, vegetarian options and children's choices, will be the same as its other restaurants. But the daily specials for starters, main courses and sweets will likely differ from that offered in Dover and Hythe depending on the morning's catch, the chef's choice and the way that his imagination takes him on the day.

Craig Weyers, restaurant manager at the Dover eatery, is helping to oversee the new opening. He told Kent Live:

"Mr. Parrett wants to expand his restaurant empire in a climate where businesses keep closing. He wanted to find another town with a seaside location. The space in Deal is perfect, right on the beach, albeit across the road from the water."

Mr Weyers, who has worked for Hythe Bay Restaurants for nearly seven years, said the new restaurant will create 20 jobs in the area. He added:

"Since we opened in Dover, many of our customers have travelled to us from Deal. In fact, many of them have asked Mr. Parrett and myself whether we were looking to open another place in Deal. And since the signs went up, our phone hasn't stopped ringing from people trying to make reservations."

British fish quotas post Brexit

Daily Telegraph, Monday 31st October 2016

British fishermen will be able to catch hundreds of thousands of tonnes more fish after Brexit because it will be able to overhaul "unfair" fishing quotas, the fisheries minister has said. George Eustice said that Brexit will provide a "good deal" for fishermen because current quotas give a "disproportionately large" share of catches to fishermen from the EU. He said that after Brexit the UK will strike new "reciprocal" arrangements with the European Union which will give fishermen a greater share of catches in British waters and abroad. He said that while a member of the European Union negotiations about fishing quotas had stalled because of the "institutionalised intertia" of Brussels. He told The Daily Telegraph:

"It's pretty clear that Brexit can be a good deal for British fishermen because we regain control. The equation is that they have 1 million tonnes of UK fish and we get about 150,000 tonnes of fish of various species. There are areas we would hope to get a better deal, particularly with cod and plaice. The truth is that things will change in a very fundamental way. In the Channel the French get twice as much plaice and three times as much Dover sole as we do, there is an imbalance."

Mr Eustice believes that fishermen in the Channel and the West Country could particularly benefit from reforms to fishing quotas. He highlighted the fact that Britain's share of plaice and sole in the English Channel is "incredibly low", with a similar situation for cod and haddock in the Celtic sea. He said that here is no "balance" to Britain's fishing agreements with the EU, and that it "benefits more from access to the UK than the UK benefits from access to them".

It came as French fishermen accused their British rivals of 'plundering' scallops in the Channel, saying Brexit could leave UK trawlers free to increase their catches without the constraints of EU regulations. Daniel Lefévre, head of the Lower Normandy Fisheries' Committee, said:

"Not only are the English pillaging a resource that we've been protecting for more than 30 years, but the scallops they fish and freeze are coming back to be sold in France, competing with our fresh scallops."

The French are aggrieved because they say they are already subject to stricter fishing limits than the British, and they fear Brexit will now disentangle UK boats from the complex web of EU rules. Mr Lefévre explained that under national regulations to prevent overfishing, French fishermen are obliged to respect strict quotas. These rules do not apply to the British, who are subject to 'more lenient' British and EU regulations: "After Brexit, Britain would perhaps not be bound by EU regulations. We hope we can agree on a solution with our British friends before the UK leaves.

"The problem is that the British see only the business side of things while we are thinking about conservation too. French fishermen are only allowed to catch scallops six months a year but the British can fish them all year round."

French fishermen have long been disgruntled that their British competitors are not bound by the same rules as they are. In 2012, British fishermen requested protection from the Royal Navy as 40 French boats surrounded five UK vessels during the so-called 'Scallop War'. The French claimed that the British were fishing in an exclusion zone in the Channel at a time of year when dredging for scallops was banned. The British said they had permission to fish all year round.

Pictures of poo in bid to ban dogs from Pier

East Kent Mercury, Thursday 27th October 2016

(read the 2015 background here)

Deal's most celebrated landmark is littered with dog mess, yet there are no plans to reverse the decision to allow the animals on the Pier.

This week keen photographer Tony Friend, of Park Street, repeated his claim that there was "no room" for the pets on the Pier because careless owners did not pick up after them. He witnessed a woman push her pram through a pile of mess left by somebody else, spreading it along the pathway. He now plans to send photographs to the council as part of his mission to ban the animals. Mr Friend says:

"It's ridiculous. I like dogs but let's get them back off the Pier. If there is nobody watching, people do not pick up after their dogs. It's the attendants who have to clean it up."

Dogs on leads have been allowed to walk on the Pier since July 2015 after the introduction of a new Public Spaces Protection Order. Mr Friend, who first spoke out about the issue in August last year, added:

"It's not fair on people who take their children on there. The Pier always used to be a nice place to walk. You didn't need to worry about it. Now you have to dodge the piles of poo."

Attendants are keeping a "log book" (sic) of incidents, it is understood. Spokesman Kevin Charles said:

"There are no plans to reverse our decision to permit dogs on leads on Deal Pier. Instances of dog fouling anywhere are unpleasant and we would urge owners to act responsibly and clear up after their dogs. Regular patrols are made in the area. Anyone found guilty of an offence of dog fouling can be issued with a fixed penalty notice - currently a £75 fine."

For more information, to report offenders or request a patrol, visit

Owners Advised

The Deal Dog Community group, which has 1,200 members, has produced a set of rules for dog owners using the Pier which have been approved by the council's Environmental Team and Dover Property Services.

They ask that people ensure their pets have done their business before entering the Pier and that they clean up after them, with waste bags available from the attendants if needed. Bags should be disposed of in the red bin located on the Pier Approach.

Anglers fears on pet safety

Angler Steve Holland fishes on Deal Pier once a week and has only ever seen one pile of dog's mess. He is less concerned about dog fouling and more worried about safety. The fisherman from Sittingbourne has fished on Deal Pier once a week for more than 20 years. He says he has only ever seen one incident when a dog owner has not cleaned up after a pet but does worry about the animals' safety, especially when they are on long leads. He said:

"They can just veer off away from their owners and you don't know what they're going to do. I also worry about dogs when we're casting our rods. You look carefully for people but if a dog is on a long lead you could miss it."

Another angler, who did not want to be named, is also against dogs on the Pier. He has been visiting Deal Pier once or twice a week for more than 50 years and said:

"Every dog owner I see does clear it up but I don't think dogs should be on here. I'm fightened that before long a dog will pick up a hook and there's going to be a row. We're very carfeul but occasionally a hook does get discarded and if a dog does pick one up, who will be to blame ?"

Beach Street dodgy bend - end of the saga ?

East Kent Mercury, Thursday 27th October 2016

(read the 2014 background here and September 2016 update here)

Councillor Mike Eddy by the new road surface

Safety measures have been installed in a section of road that has caused concern for years. The pinch point at Beach Street by the Royal Hotel (opposite Pleasure Angling) now has a buff-coloured high friction surface following repeated calls for improvements.

In 2014 Paul Henderson, 66, of Cheriron Place, Walmer, suffered severe head injuries after he was involved in a collision with a cyclist there. A safety campaign followed and was adopted by Labour councillors Mike Eddy and Eileen Rowbotham. They have now used £5,000 of their members' highways funding, along with £7,000 from Deal Town Council, to make changes. It is hoped the coloured surfacing and additional signs will warn motorists of the narrow road. Councillor Eddy said:

"We could have done it last year if Deal Town Council had come forward with the money but certain people seemed to be against it. Some people will say it's just a coat of paint but it's not. It's a special high friction extra grip surface, a different colour and there are more warning signs as well as a slight camber of the road."

He thinks a coloured surface has a psychological impact and makes motorists slow down. He said:

"It's a variety of small scale improvements but that's all we can do. There is no way we can stop certain people doing stupid things but the majority will take notice of the different coloured surface and will approach things in a more sensible way."

The work started on Monday, 17th October and finished on Tuesday, 18th October. Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke, who had Beach Street speed tested in 2014, said:

"It's welcome that Kent County Council have listened to our concerns and finally taken action. These improvements were long overdue. I was very concerned with the amount of people coming to me with stories of near-misses and other scary incidents at the junction. I kept on at Kent County Council to make the changes but they said the average speed was only 19 mph, and they have a strict criteria for these sorts of things. I still think they should have listened to local people who know the roads much better. But the council has acted and it is absolutely right something has been done at last. Drivers must take notice of these warnings, so we don't have any more nasty incidents there."

Dean Curry, proprietor of Pleasure Angling, comments:

"Car speeds in the past week have reduced from 70 mph to 60 mph …"

Deal Festival of Music and the Arts 2017

Deal Festival, 20th October 2016

2017 marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Deal Festival of Music & the Arts which is scheduled for the 17 day period (a baker's fortnight) from Friday, 30th June to Sunday, 16th July 2017. So, pop these dates into your Filofax and get yourself some culcha !

Click here for news and updates.

Clocks go back on Sunday

Daily Telegraph, 21st October 2016

On Sunday, 30th October at 2am, the UK will revert to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) by going back one hour, to 1am. This marks the official end of British summertime.

WARNING: Flood alert issued for Kent coast from Pegwell Bay to Deal, including Sandwich

East Kent Mercury, Tuesday 19th October 2016

A flood alert has been issued for the Kent coast between Pegwell Bay and Deal. The Environment Agency updated its website this morning to warn people about a high tide which is expected around lunchtime today - high tide at Deal is at 13:59. It could cause flooding to low lying coastal and estuary areas but flooding to properties is not expected.

The areas which could be affected are from Pegwell Bay to Deal including Sandwich, the Pfizer site and the tidal Stour between the sea and Stonar Cut. After today the tides will begin to decrease and no further flooding risk is expected.

Britsh Sea Fishing Newsletter

Britsh Sea Fishing, September 2016

Marine Conservation Zone Problems: Two articles in the Guardian this week claimed that Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) may actually cause problems and fail to sufficiently protect marine environments. Firstly Oliver Milman argued that the vast size of Hawaii's Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument actually highlights how little of the world's seas and oceans are given any protection - click here to read. While the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument covers 580,000 square miles (three times the size of California) Milman argues that its creation has been rushed through as one of the final touches of President Obama's legacy. He goes on to say that less than 4% of the world's oceans are protected, much less than the amount of land that is given over to protection in the form of national parks. Another article by John Vidal argued that the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument could work against conservation by being a 'paper park' - an area which looks like it is protected but very little is actually done to conserve the marine environment inside it - read here. This is an argument which will be very familiar to people who are following the MCZs being designated around the UK as there is still no clear information about what protection will actually be given to such areas.

More MCZs for the UK ?: Conservationists this month called for the amount of MCZs (Marine Conservation Zones) around the UK to be almost doubled to create an "ecologically coherent network" where marine animals and environments could flourish. While fifty MCZs have been established in two tranches around the coastline of England and Wales this is far fewer than were originally envisaged, and the Wildlife Trust are pushing the government to establish another forty-eight when the third and final tranche is announced within the next two years. The current plans for MCZs around England and Wales have been heavily criticised by people such as the eminent marine biologist Prof. Callum Roberts as it is still not clear what protection the marine environment inside them will be afforded, and commercial fishing may still be allowed to take place within some MCZs. Read the full article on the Guardian website by clicking here.

Eel's 3,500 Mile Journey: A silver eel was found in central England after completing an 3,500 mile journey from Bermuda. The eel was found in a West Bromwich waterway after work was carried out to save fish following a pollution incident. While many anglers may be familiar with the life cycle of the silver eel most people are surprised to hear that they are born in the warm waters of the Caribbean and then swim many thousands of miles to Europe. Once here they make their way into estuaries and then along rivers and live in freshwater for years. Following this period of their life they leave rivers and live in a marine environment for anything ranging from months to years before making the long journey back to the Caribbean, spawning and then dying, with their young repeating the same life cycle. Since silver eels numbers have been reduced dramatically over recent decades and they are now classed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature it is good to hear that this eel was safely returned to the canal. Read more by clicking here.

Fishy Beer: The BBC reported this month that vegetarians are unhappy that many brands of beer include an ingredient made from fish. Isinglass is a substance made from the swim bladders of fish which is used as a fining agent to give beer a clearer and brighter colour and make it more attractive to consumers. However, many people are unaware that both specialist micro-breweries and mass manufacturers use isinglass, with vegetarians and vegans in particular unhappy that they could be inadvertently consuming beer which has animal products in it. The BBC state that a number of small breweries are now making beer without isinglass which is Vegetarian Society approved, and there is hope that there will be a move away from including isinglass in beer manufacture in the future. Read the full BBC article here.

World's Oldest Fishing Hooks Discovered: Two fishing hooks found on a Japanese island may be the oldest ever discovered. They were found on Okinawa Island, just off the Japanese mainland by archaeologists who were excavating a cave and are believed to have been made out of sea snail shell. Previously the oldest fishing hooks were thought to have been 16,000 to 18,000 years old, but the Japanese hooks are thought to be around 23,000 year old.

The ancient angler's tools were found on the tiny Okinawa Island between Japan and Taiwan where early modern humans are said to have lived nearly 30,000 years ago

The discovery may mean that early modern humans were much more resourceful than previously realised and might have been able to use develop their own technology to a much greater extent that previously believed. Read the full article here.

Warming Seas Could Kill Off Juvenile Lobsters: Research by an American university suggested that warming seas could have a catastrophic impact on lobsters in the USA and the wider world, with the continuation of the entire species being potentially put at risk. The University of Maine Darling Marine Center found that relatively small increases in sea temperature of just five degrees had a devastating impact on the number of juvenile lobsters which survived in waters off the north east coast of the USA. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Science predicts that global sea temperatures will have gone up by this amount by the year 2100, meaning the future looks bleak for lobsters unless changes are made to limit the warming of the world's seas and oceans. Read more by clicking here.

Tope Trapped in Tidal Pool: A tope believed to be 5 to 6ft long was seen trapped in a shallow tidal pool on the Norfolk coast this month. The shark species had been trapped by the outgoing tide and was swimming in just a few feet of water when it was observed by a number of people who also filmed the shark before it was freed when the tide came back in. Watch a video of the tope here.

Friday's "black moon"

IFL Science, Thursday 29th September 2016

The skies of the Western Hemisphere are set for a "black Moon" on Friday night. Fortunately, you can put away the tin foil hats and stop repenting your sins. Despite some of the headlines, it doesn't mean the second coming of a messiah or an ensuing apocalypse. It does, however, mean a rare astronomical event that only happens roughly every 32 months.

A black Moon is the name given to the second new Moon in a calendar month. A new Moon is the first phase of the 29.53-day lunar cycle as the Moon orbits Earth. At this phase of the cycle, the Moon is invisible to the naked eye as its illuminated side faces away from Earth and towards the Sun, meaning it's shrouded in darkness and thus hard to see.

The black Moon can be seen in the UK at 01.11 in the early hours of Saturday, 1st October. The lunar event will take place in the Western Hemisphere but the Black Moon will be more or less invisible because it is shrouded in darkness.

The black Moon has caused a stir this month because there was a 'ring of fire' solar eclipse on the first day of September. This rare double phenomenon is supposedly linked to biblical apocalyptic prophecies and has alarmed conspiracy theorists. The solar eclipse cast a vast shadow over Africa, but the sun was not totally eclipsed so there was a 'ring of fire' around the edge.

The British Open 2016

Sunday, 6th November 2016: 11am to 4pm

Organised by Richard Yates and Saul Page

How the East Kent coast became the new Shoreditch

Daily Telegraph, 19th June 2015

… In its analysis, Savills also finds three "emerging prime" locations on the Kent coast. These include Deal, which has seen 23 per cent price growth over the past five years. Says Savills' researcher Sophie Chick:

"Despite its impressive growth, Deal remains good value, cheaper on average than other coastal locations in Kent such as Whitstable, Hythe and Sandwich."

Deal has found a following among creative types - Norman Wisdom and Charles Hawtrey were both residents. The "pink pound" is strong here too, says Strutt & Parker's Simon Backhouse:

"We have sold to a number of couples who buy lovely little fisherman's houses and turn them into truly amazing second homes."

Deal's seafront has a genteel air, with a handsome stretch of buildings facing its pebbly beach. Among them, a Grade II listed, three-bedroom town house will cost about £600,000. Deal's high street was voted the best in Britain by The Daily Telegraph last year.

The new high-speed rail service has halved journey times to London, now at 1hr 20min, which means that London commuters are beginning to see Deal as a viable option, according to Ben Hugill, branch manager of Haart.

John Fothergill, 39, who advises artists on commercial strategy, says:

"It's happening all along the coast in Ramsgate, Margate, Sandwich and Deal - but each town has a very different feel. Deal already feels like it's becoming an outpost of London. Sandwich has a slightly older population, but it's a bohemian place full of people with interesting back stories."

Sounds faintly Shoreditch - but John feels this corner of Kent is still oddly overlooked:

"Other towns a similar distance from London in the other direction are far more densely populated with far higher property values, yet Sandwich's Edwardian and Victorian housing stock is phenomenal. We know various people who have sold in London for around £1 million and bought a great full-time house here and still had enough left to buy a pied á terre in London."

Phew, what a scorcha … part deux!

Kent Online, 20th September 2016

It seems we're not through with the Indian summer - with more hot weather forecast into next week. Temperatures are set to rise over the next few days, with Thursday hitting the low 20°Cs and the weekend even rising as high as 25°C. Weather experts Exacta Weather said:

"There is also no reason as to why we couldn't see some September records for the month as a whole being broken or going close on current indications."

Experts say we can expect temperatures to be around 3°C above average, which puts us in a position for a potentially record-breaking September overall.

The prediction comes just days after Gravesend was yet again launched into the record books - notching up the hottest September day in the UK for 105 years. On 13th September the town was hotter than Los Angeles.

Beach Street dodgy bend to be made safer - the saga continues

East Kent Mercury, Thursday 15th September 2016

(Read the 2014 background here).

Paul Henderson suffered severe head injuries: MP Charlie Elphicke with the usual suspects

A church minister who was air-lifted to hospital after an accident on Deal seafront has called for road improvements to be made before someone is killed. Paul Henderson, 66, of Cheriton Place, Walmer, suffered severe head injuries after he was involved in a collision with a cyclist on Beach Street, outside the Royal Hotel, in April 2014. The accident prompted calls from MP Charlie Elphicke and business people nearby for improvements.

Labour councillors Mike Eddy and Eileen Rowbotham pushed to make the road safer but the proposals were rejected in January by the town council's former Conservative administration. Since Labour regained control in May, £12,000 has been pledged for coloured surfacing and additional signs to warn motorists of the narrow road. Works are expected to be completed by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, Mr Henderson, a governor of the Downs Primary School, said he saw what could have led to another serious incident a few weeks ago but still nothing has been done. He said:

"Surely, coloured speed bumps and notices to slow down could help and wouldn't cost a fortune. I was told that if Kent Air Ambulance wasn't in operation two years ago, I would have died. Does someone have to be killed before action is taken ?"

The air ambulance took Mr Henderson to King's College Hospital in London. The lay minister of St. Saviour's Church, Walmer, suffered broken ribs and bruises to the brain but he has now made a full recovery.

Despite calls for speed bumps, Cllr Eddy claims these would not go down well with customers of the Royal Hotel or nearby residents. He said:

"Speed bumps may solve the problem of people going through there too fast but might create problems for people living nearby. This is because vehicles sometimes brake for a bump and then speed up again, or hit the bump hard, causing loud thumps. We are stuck with the system our ancestors left us - all we can do is to make improvements to it."

He added that the coloured surface has a psychological impact and makes motorists slow down.

The £12,000 scheme is made up of £5,000 from the two county councillors, Mike Eddy and Eileen Rowbotham, and £7,000 from Deal Town Council. It will also see plans for the road to be built-up to alleviate problems arising from the existing tilt.

Call for feeding ban after seagull attack

East Kent Mercury, Thursday 15th September 2016

A grandmother is urging people not to feed seagulls after her four-year-old granddaughter was injured when a gull snatched a snack from her.

Anita Bean, of Deal Road, Worth, was shopping in Deal High Street with her granddaughter, Abby-Rose, on Friday, when a gull swooped down and stole the little girl's croissant. The shocked youngster was left with a bleeding finger and reduced to tears.

Mrs Bean is now appealing to the public not to feed the birds to prevent future injuries - particularly to vulnerable children and the elderly. She will be contacting Deal Town Council to see if a ban can be enforced. She said:

"My granddaughter was hysterical. She was walking along with me, holding my hand and eating her croissant and this huge seagull appeared from behind us and took her food. I thought it had nipped her face but it had actually got her finger and made her bleed. It took me ages to calm her down."

On her next visit to the town, she saw people feeding the birds sausage rolls. She said:

"I really don't think people should be feeding them. When you look through the town you see many children in buggies and elderly people who could be hurt if this happened to them. If people didn't feed them they wouldn't come into the town and it would make the High Street a nicer place."

Mrs Bean's incident follows earlier appeals from others about feeding pigeons in the town centre. Peter Jull, chairman of Deal and Walmer Chamber of Trade, raised the idea of fines at a district council meeting last year. He asked if it was possible to consult on a Public Spaces Protection Order to make feeding birds subject to the same rules as littering or dog fouling, punishable by a fixed penalty notice.

Seagull enjoying a cold beverage after his croissant

Editor's note: Don't be gullible and take care at Deal Braderie on Sunday - eat under cover or be prepared to share your croissant with a seagull. The following seagull-related stories from 2015 can be viewed on this website:

And the good news - gulls eat pigeons
Daily Mirror, 12th February 2016

Songs to the Sea Folk Weekend

Deal Folk by the Sea, 16th, 17th & 18th September 2016

Three days of folk music with a concert, shanties, busking, pub sessions and sing-arounds in Deal and Walmer. Raising funds for the local RNLI Walmer Lifeboat. For programme of events click here and Facebook

Deal Heritage Open Days 2016

Deal Heritage, 10th & 11th September 2016

Heritage Open Days is England's biggest heritage festival celebrating our history, architecture and culture. This year in Deal and Walmer the event will take place on the weekend of the 10th and 11th September and include seventeen venues and a walk. Some of the venues are not normally open to the public whilst others have special exhibitions and all of them are completely free. Continue reading

Britsh Sea Fishing Newsletter

Britsh Sea Fishing, August 2016

Bluefin Tuna Caught by Teenager: A 160 lb tuna was caught off the coast of Cornwall by 16-year-old Joe Amos. He was fishing with his father for blue sharks when the fish took his bait, with the pair initially believing that they had caught a mako or porbeagle shark. After fifty minutes the fish was landed and it became clear that they had hooked a Bluefin tuna. The species is usually found in the Mediterranean and warm water areas of the Atlantic, but evidence is growing that they are making their way back to waters around the UK. The tuna was returned to the water once it had been photographed. Read more and see pictures by clicking here.

Deaths Around UK Coast Lead to Safety Calls: A number of deaths around the UK coastline have led to calls for better safety. High spring tides, unseasonably stormy weather and a lack of knowledge about the danger the sea poses were seen as contributory factors in many of the tragic deaths. A father and daughter both lost their lives when they were swept off rocks reports the Telegraph, while a swimmer, windsurfer and several members of a family in Scotland also lost their lives after getting into difficulties in the water near to Aberdeen, as reported by the BBC here. Following this news five men lost their lives off Camber Sands in East Sussex after swimming in the sea as the BBC reported. The five were all men in their late teens and early twenties and had travelled to the area from Greater London for a day trip. Questions have asked why no life guards were present on the beach which was packed with tourists on one of the hottest days of the year. It was later announced that life guards would be on duty over the bank holiday weekend at the end of August and this was later extended to cover the remainder of the summer. At the end of August a 17-year-old boy died in the sea off the coast of Sunderland, as stated in local press in the area. He was believed to have been in a dinghy and then got out to swim and got into difficulties. He was taken to hospital but later died. The spate of deaths has led to calls for better safety and increased education about the dangers and risks of entering the sea, as well as better lifeguard cover for popular areas in the summer months.

Brexit and UK Fishing: The government has began to look at the implications of Brexit for UK fisheries. A report published on the government's website stated that possible implications for the UK leaving the European Union and the Common Fisheries Policy included the UK gaining exclusive rights to territorial waters up to 200 miles from UK shores, possibly trading access to these waters to EU nations, less influence in determining EU market rules for fish and the introduction of a new UK fisheries management system. The post-Brexit future of the UK's commercial fishing industry is still unclear, but non-EU countries such as Norway and Iceland have thriving fishing industries and will surely be used as a model to show how nations outside the EU can successfully manage their own fisheries. Read a summary of the report here.

Bass Stocks Ban in 2017 ?: The Daily Express reported this month that bass could be taken off every British menu with a total ban on catching bass next year. The paper quoted the report from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (a global advisory body which sets scientific advice on catch limits and fishing quotas) which stated that bass stocks are now in a perilous situation. Driven by increasing popularity in restaurants and unsustainable fishing, the number of bass has fallen from a healthy level in 2010 to dangerously low levels now, and there is real concern that the spawning stock is being reduced to the point where the long-term survival of the species is in doubt. Making bass catch and release only for anglers and placing some limits on commercial fishing has done little to restore stocks, and if the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea's advice is taken then all fishing for bass - both recreational and commercial - could be stopped for all of 2017. Read the Daily Express article by clicking here.

Smooth Hound Panic: A dead smooth-hound washed up on a Lincolnshire beach this month, causing panic to some individuals on social media. The small shark species - which is relatively common around the UK - does not grow any much longer than 4 ft in length and feeds primarily on crustaceans. However, this did not stop some members of the public becoming concerned about their safety with one commenter posting a picture of the smooth-hound on Facebook and saying that he definitely wouldn't be going in the water, and another writing "I'm not even having a paddle in the sea now". Read the article by clicking here. here.

Drift Net Ban: A local councillor in Devon has claimed that a ban on drift netting in estuaries would put the last remaining fishermen in Appledore out of work. Large trawlers no long work out of the port, with the remaining fishing industry relying on small scale fishermen. However, the decline of bass stocks has led to the Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) to begin the process of banning drift netting in estuaries in the area. This has led to Cllr. Phillip Hackett to say that this measure would risk the livelihoods of the fishermen as they need to use drift nets in the estuary to catch bass, sea trout and salmon. In an interview in the Plymouth Herald, Cllr. Hackett claimed that the decline in bass was "disputed" and that new regulations brought in by the Devon and Severn IFCA would risk "the very existence of the Appledore fishing industry". Read the full article here.

Painful Fishing Hook Incident: A German nudist was left left in agony after getting his penis caught on an angler's fishing hook. Herbert Fendt (a pseudonym) was swimming in a lake near Augsberg in Bavaria when he felt a sharp pain in his groin. He soon realised that he had a fishing hook pierced his penis and had to call out to the angler not to reel in. On reaching land Mr. Fendt was unable to remove the hook himself and had to cycle home before going to hospital where the hook was removed. He is expected to make a full recovery and says he plans to return to the lake again. Read the full story here.

Lobsters Stolen: Lobsters worth around £1,300 have been stolen from a fisherman in Methil Docks in eastern Scotland. Around 150 lobsters were being stored by a fisherman in a container but were hand-picked out between 1 am and 5 am on the morning of 22nd August. Sargent Craig Fyall from Levenmouth Police Station said that it might appear to be a "comical incident" but the livelihood of the fisherman had been put at risk by the theft. Restaurants and fishmongers in the area were told to be vigilant for people attempting to sell a large quantity of lobsters. Read the BBC News article on this story here.

Divers hoping to find out more about the 1740 Rooswijk wreck

East Kent Mercury: Wednesday, 7th September 2016

Divers working on the Goodwin Sands are hoping to discover more about an 18th century trading ship which sank in 1740. It is believed the Rooswijk, a Dutch East Indiaman, was carrying a large cargo of silver ingots and coins. Dutch and British maritime archaeologists are carrying out the expedition until Thursday, 15th September.

Spanish coins found in the Rooswijk wreck in 2005

The Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands and Historic England are working with the original archaeological dive team that partly excavated the wreck in 2005 and the licensee to carry out a detailed survey of the ship that lies partly buried in sediment. The protected wreck site is on the "at risk" register because of sediment movement on the Goodwin Sands. Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England said:

"We are delighted to be working in partnership with our Dutch colleagues and the original archaeological team on this important site. Wrecks such as the Rooswijk are part of the shared cultural maritime heritage across Europe and it is important that cultural heritage agencies are able to work together to ensure that sites such as these are protected, researched, understood and appreciated by all. It is important that cultural heritage agencies are able to work together to ensure that sites such as these are protected, researched, understood and appreciated by all."

Archaeologists want to gain a better understanding of the Rooswijk, the ship's design, and the state of preservation of the materials on the seabed. This will help with the future management of the site and depending on what is discovered there, will lead to a larger excavation. Earlier this year a geophysical survey was conducted, designed to allow archaeologists to build up a picture of the Rooswijk's exposure and buried remains before they visit.

The Goodwin Sands, which lies six miles off the Deal coast, is an area known to be rich in shipwreck material and is regularly dived.

You can read David Chamberlain's detailed account of the sinking of the Rooswijk here and additional information about the wreck is available online here.

Watch the video "Diving the wreck of The Rooswijk 2005":

Deal Pier bench repairs

East Kent Mercury: Thursday, 1st September 2016

Spot the bench

Large areas of missing seats along Deal Pier will not be replaced until next year. According to the district council, the missing seating, which has nails and bolts sticking out where the seats used to be, will be replaced in time for next summer.

There are also issues regarding litter on the Pier in the public areas around Jasin's café. Dover District Council spokesman Andy Steele said:

"We are aware of complaints regarding the Pier. We continue to work hard to keep it tidy and attendants regularly pick up litter. However, the outside seating area for the café is the responsibility of the café. The missing seating along the Pier, which is owned by DDC, needs replacing and the works will be completed in time for next summer."

There were complaints from residents that claimed the area outside the café was full of litter and a freezer had been dumped there. The rubbish has now been removed and the owners are working with the Council to find a solution to the limited waste and storage space on site.

Bus porn …

East Kent 100: Walmer Green, Saturday 3rd September 2016

MFN 898 - 1956 Guy Arab IV
YJG 807 - 1962 AEC Bridgemaster 590
6801 FN - 1963 AEC Regent V

MFN 898 - 1956 Guy Arab IV

KFN 220 - 1955 AEC Reliance

EFN 592 - 1950 Dennis Lancet J3

JG 8720 - 1930 Dennis Lancet 2

JG 8720 - 1930 Dennis Lancet 2

Deal Braderie 2016

Deal Town Council

The Braderie this year will take place on Sunday 18th September, 8.30am to 4.00pm along Deal High Street.

The Braderie is a street fair selling antiques, bric-a-brac, vintage clothing/jewellery, plants, books, memorabilia, crafts etc. It runs from Church Path (St George's Church), Deal High Street to just past the junction of Water Street (near Alfred Square). This takes place every year and is a very popular event, with visitors coming from all over the U.K.

Hundreds of free pastries, doughnuts and hot drinks will be given away at this year's braderie. In keeping with tradition, passers-by will be treated with sweet treats thanks to the generosity of St. George's church. They will be served between 11:30 am and 1 pm in the gardens at the front of the church. There will also be face painting.

Heads up for the iGeneration: a "street fair" is a type of ancient offline market which, although prey to the vicissitudes of British weather, is nonetheless very popular with the wrinklies who derive much pleasure looking for dad deals (preBay) from traders known as "stall-holders" using a method of contact payment called "cash". I know, it's crazy - but you can't make this stuff up. As they say in Walmer: "Acheter ce dont on n'a pas besoin, c'est le moyen d'aller de tout à rien …" Remember to ask for a 24 hour warranty.

Deal beach clean …

Deal With It: Sunday, 18th September 2016 at 9:30 am

Phew, what a scorcher!

BBC, 21st August 2016

Heatwave alerts for south-east England as temperatures hit 30°C … Waahaay.

A level three heatwave alert is in place for the east of England, where high daytime temperatures and warm, humid nights are forecast until Friday. London and south-east England are on a level two alert, meaning heatwave conditions are also likely this week.

Public Health England urged people to be aware of the health risks of heat. To stay safe, people should drink plenty of water, wear loose-fitting cotton clothing, and stay out of the sun between 11 am and 3 pm, it said. Remember, only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun …

Save water, bath with a friend

Deal beach shelters get makeover

Dover District Council, 18th August 2016

A local firm - Hipperson Builders (M&E) Ltd of York Road, Walmer - has been awarded a contract by Dover District Council to refurbish three beach shelters on Deal seafront which were placed there as part of a regeneration scheme in the 1950s.

These works are due to start in September. Martin Leggatt, DDC Head of Assets and Building Control said:

"We are pleased to award this contract to a local company. The refurbishments are part of our regular maintenance across the district, as we continue to work hard to preserve and protect our buildings and heritage, and keep the district looking great for the future."

Deal … the charming seaside town

Kent Life, 1st March 2016

If getting away from it all is high on your agenda, then little unassuming Deal may well be the perfect spot, with its lovely beachfront, buzzing High Street and warm community feel.

The charming seaside town of Deal is a real gem. Relatively inaccessible and with the coast of France visible across the Channel, it's easy to feel as though you really have escaped the rat race in this faraway corner of Kent.

Topping polls including The Daily Telegraph's "High Street of the Year" and "Best Coastal Town" in 2014, as well as being named "Best hipster holiday destination for Londoners" by the Evening Standard last year, little Deal is making a big impression. Its mix of traditional seaside resort, independent shops and great places to eat, as well as its appeal to artists and creatives, make this town a place you simply must experience.

Click here to read the full article.

Britsh Sea Fishing Newsletter

Britsh Sea Fishing, July 2016

Illegal Fisherman Fined: A fisherman has been ordered by a court to pay back over £100,000 made through illegal fishing. Shane Barton, 42, from Plymouth had a history of illegal fishing and was handed a three month prison sentence (suspended for 24 months) and a 12 month supervision order. The court heard that Barton already had numerous convictions for other fishing offences throughout the South West and benefit fraud. In addition, a confiscation order was used to ensure that he will pay back £104,147 which he made through illegal fishing activities. The Bournemouth Echo reported that he will have to pay back £5,000 out of his existing assets immediately or face the three month jail term, and after this the rest of the money will still have to be paid. As with all Proceeds of Crime confiscation orders the outstanding benefit figure is still owed and the case will be reviewed in future as and when Barton acquires further assets. The nets Barton used were also forfeited by the court under separate legislation. Read the full Bournemouth Echo report here. This is not the first time that confiscation orders - a legal procedure designed to ensure that people do not profit from the proceeds of illegal activity - have been used against unscrupulous fishermen. In 2012 a number of Scottish skippers were given confiscation orders for sums as high as £425,000, as well as fines totalling £1,000,000 due to illegal catches of mackerel. In both cases the high value of the confiscation orders shows the huge sums which it is possible to make through illegal fishing.

Brexit and UK Fish Stocks: The fallout from the UK's vote to leave the European Union has continued this month, with many newspapers and commentators speculating about the ways in which Britain will control its territorial waters once it has left the EU. The Telegraph reported that the French National Fisheries Committee was concerned that its fishing fleet would be denied access to British waters, and said that some French vessels were accustomed to taking up to eighty per cent of their catch within British waters. A spokesman for the committee said that some French fishing ports could close if they were banned or restricted from fishing in British waters. Read more by clicking here. However, Maria Damanaki, the former EU fisheries chief, stated that the belief the UK could control its own fishing grounds after leaving the EU was an "illusion", arguing that historic fishing rights and the proximity of the UK to other nations meant that Britain would be unable to set its own quotas without input from EU nations. Read more about this here. However, Scottish fishermen had an alternative view to Ms. Damanaki. Despite Scotland as a whole voting overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union, Scottish fishermen have strongly backed Brexit as many believe that Scottish fishermen and coastal communities have been squeezed out as other EU nations have been given higher and higher quotas to fish in Scottish waters. While the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is calling for Scotland to remain in the EU Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation rejected this and said that he was "delighted and full of hope that Brexit will restore to the UK the normal rights and responsibilities for fishing … in their own sea space." Read the full story here.

Bass Stocks Warning: Following the warnings over falling bass stocks in European waters ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Seas) - the powerful body which sets scientific advice on Europe-wide fish quotas - stated that bass stocks had fallen to "dangerously low" levels and that the measures which have been brought in over the last few years have failed to halt the decline. They therefore advised that all bass fishing, both commercial and recreational, should be banned in 2017. While the advice remains non-legally binding it could be the case that all forms of bass fishing are banned in 2017 throughout the European Union. Read more on this issue here.

Tesco Removes John West Tuna: Tesco this month removed some John West tuna from its shelves over sustainability concerns. Since 2012 the supermarket chain has promised to stock only line-and-pole-caught tuna as this method of capture is sustainable, especially when compared to the damaging purse seine/fish aggregating device method which kills large numbers of other creatures such as sharks, turtle and marine mammals. Around 20% of John West tuna lines were withdrawn, as Tesco said the company was not able to meet Tesco's demands on sustainability as fast as they wanted. In 2011 John West said that all of its tuna would be sustainable by 2016, but Greenpeace found in 2015 that only around 2% of John West tuna was sustainable, with the rest caught with destructive fishing practices. Read more on this story here. Following this news the Guardian ran an interesting article asking exactly what tuna is sustainable to eat. The article considers the species of tuna, the fishing method which is used to catch it and the location in which it is caught, read their article here.

Just when you thought it was safe …

Daily Telegraph, 5th August 2016

… Britain sees best haul of mackerel in 30 years, leading to new shark warning. The best haul of mackerel in 30 years in British waters has prompted warnings for bathers to be aware of sharks visiting our beaches. Huge volumes of mackerel are chasing small fry like whitebait and sand eels towards the shore to such an extent the minnow fish have been seen to hurl themselves onto beaches to escape.

But mackerel is the staple diet of native shark breeds and it is feared the deadly fish will follow their food source to shallow waters of the south coast. Just last week a shore fisherman caught a 7ft long porbeagle shark, a relative of the great white, just metres away from a holiday beach in Pembrokeshire. Porbeagles, like blue sharks, are usually found several miles out to sea rather than close inshore.

Holidaymakers are being urged to be vigilant of large shoals of mackerel when they swim in the sea in case there is a hungry shark hot on their tails. It is not known why this summer has seen a glut of mackerel but there had been a slump in numbers in the spring and they could be all coming at once. Graham Pullen, a veteran fisherman and presenter of the online programme the Totally Awesome Fishing Show, recorded some incredible footage of small fry leaping out of the sea to escape huge numbers of mackerel in Weymouth, Dorset. He said:

"This huge influx of mackerel is sure to draw in the sharks; blue sharks, thresher sharks and the porbeagle shark all eat mackerel. If the mackerel are driving the bait-fish right onto the beaches, which they have been, then the big sharks could well be close behind them. It might be wise for people to be aware of any big shoals of mackerel, as you never know what sort of predator might be hunting them."

Mackerel usually inhabit British waters in May when the sea is warmer but it has only been in the last few weeks that fishermen have noticed them in great number. Anglers are now cashing in on this extraordinary surge after a miserably slow start to the year. Tim Greasty, skipper at Swanage Sea Fishing in Dorset, said:

"The start of the year was terribly slow, the worst in a long time. I would go out for two hours and pick up three or four mackerel, now in the same time I can get hundreds. It has been like someone has opened a door and let them all in and now they're everywhere. It's unusual for them to get right up to the beaches and chase whitebait to the shore like they are at the moment."

Dave Kiddy, owner of Kiddy Wholesale, one of the biggest providers of fishing equipment in the UK said his sales have reflected the reports from anglers across the country. He said:

"The sale of our mackerel fishing equipment has really got going in the last couple of weeks. Before that there was hardly anybody buying mackerel feathers or spinners but now they're flying out the door."

Get your feathers, spinners and fresh bait from Dean at Pleasure Angling (01304 239191) and Fred at Channel Angling (01304 373104).

Deal Regatta 2016

East Kent Mercury, Thursday 4th August 2016

Royal Marines Band - Walmer Green, Sunday 10th July 2016

Kent Online, 6th July 2016

Thousands of music lovers will gather in Deal this weekend for a rousing musical tribute to the 11 Royal Marines killed in the town by an IRA bomb. The annual event marks the 27th anniversary of the Royal Marines School of Music bombing on September 22, 1989. The concert by the Band of HM Royal Marines always attracts big crowds to pay their respects, many getting to Walmer Green early in the morning to ensure a good place. The concert is free to attend.

Click here for full details of the event:

Parking is available for disabled badge holders on Walmer Green to the south of the Lifeboat Station for which there is no charge. There are no facilities for non-disabled parking. Please note that there is no parking for any vehicles on The Strand up to and during the event. There are also parking restrictions on Canada Road, Gladstone Road and North Barrack Road, as these roads are the diversion route due to The Strand being closed. 'No waiting cones' will be placed in the restricted parking areas. Local authority car parks are free to park on a Sunday.

There are public toilets located between the paddling pool and The Cedars Surgery, located close to the north of Walmer Green. Additional temporary toilets (including an easy access toilet) will be located on Walmer Green near to the Lifeboat Station.

Riverside Catering will be providing hot food and drink refreshment facilities as well as ice creams.

Britsh Sea Fishing Newsletter

Britsh Sea Fishing, June 2016

EU Referendum: The result of Britain's membership of the European Union was decided this month, with Britain voting to leave by a margin of 52% to 48%. This has caused political turbulence on an unprecedented scale with Prime Minister David Cameron announcing that he is standing down and the Scottish National Party demanding another referendum on Scotland becoming an independent nation. While many areas of trade and industry campaigned to remain in the EU the vast majority of the fishing industry voted to leave, as European rules on fishing, namely the much-criticised Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), have been blamed for the decline in Europe's fish stocks and corresponding decline in the numbers of people employed in the commercial fishing industry. Leaving the European Union will give Britain the chance to break free of the CFP and set its own rules about the level of commercial fishing which happens in UK waters in a similar way to Norway and Iceland - two nations which are not members of the EU or signed up to the CFP and have the richest fishing grounds in Europe. Read British Sea Fishing's article about the Common Fisheries Policy here, and read a Daily Mail article on the commercial fishing industries reaction to Brexit here. The EU-supporting Guardian, however, warned that Brexit would not necessarily mean that British fishermen would get bigger catches, as existing agreements of fish stocks and quotas may still be enforced.

No Bass Catches in 2017: At the end of June the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), the organisation which sets the guidance levels of commercial catches, recommended that there should be zero bass catches in 2017. This would apply to both commercial and recreational fisheries. ICES stated that recruitment (the number of fish reaching adulthood) had been poor since 2008 and that the restriction is needed to restore stocks. Such a move would be hugely controversial coming straight after the restrictions which have been in place in during 2016, although it is unclear how this would affect recreational rod and line anglers - catch and release fishing may still be allowed. Read the ICES document by clicking here.

Icelandic Fisheries: This month the BBC took a look at what could be achieved by a European fishery which was not independent of the European Union and the Common Fisheries Policy. Iceland has long been linked with applying to join the EU but withdrew their application in 2015 as joining would mean sharing their fishing grounds with all of the other EU member states - something Icelanders are not prepared to do. As Iceland are free to set their own quotas and manage their fishery in the way they see fit they have been able to restore stocks and highly commercial species such as cod and haddock and ensure that all fishing takes place on a sustainable basis. Their fishery is so healthy that they do not need to pay subsidies to prop up loss-making fishing businesses like the EU does or cut morally dubious deals with impoverished African nations to fish in their waters, something the EU has just done with a new four-year deal to fish off the coast of Mauritania. The health and strength of Iceland's fishing industry shows what Britain could achieve outside of the EU and the CFP. Read the BBC article here.

UK National Fish Vote Result: The result of the vote to find the UK's national fish was announced with month on the BBC's Springwatch programme, with brown trout easily beating the other species to be crowned the winner with a huge 21% of the vote. The stickleback came in second place with 16% and the third, fourth, fifth and sixth places were all taken by freshwater species. Basking shark came in seventh - the highest ranked saltwater species, while bass (4%), cod (3%) and mackerel (2%) made up the rest of the top ten. British Sea Fishing had backed flounder, a species which didn't even make the top ten. See the full result here.

Sea Fishing and Safety: The RNLI warned anglers and walkers about the dangers of the sea this month, after it was revealed that 168 people accidentally drowned around the coast of the UK last year, with the vast majority being people who had no intention of going into the water. The Guardian ran this story and focussed on the tragic death of 23-year-old Mike Bindon. He died in January 2014 when he and a friend went fishing off a mark on the Cornish coast, but Mike was swept out to sea by a freak wave. His body was never found. Advice for staying safe includes never turning your back on the sea, avoiding unstable ground such as cliff edges and anglers are also advised to wear a small life jacket or floatation device. Read the full Guardian article here.

Microplastic Pollution: Microplastics - the tiny pieces of plastic which are found in the world's seas and oceans - could be to blame for the decline of fish populations according to research Uppsala University in Sweden. The research was carried out by Dr Oona Lönnstedt who found that immature fish exposed to microplastics would often eat the plastic instead of their natural source of food which would lead to stunted growth and a reduced ability to escape predators. Microplastics are found in cosmetic products such as face washes, scrubs and shower gels, but can also be formed when larger pieces of plastic begin to break down once it is in the sea. With around eight million tons of plastic pollution added to the world's seas every year microplastics are set to be a growing problem. Read more by clicking here.

Artificial Reef Created: An Airbus A300 was deliberately sunk in the Aegean Sea to create an artificial reef to attract marine wildlife and vegetation. The 53-metre long aircraft had reached the end of its serviceable life and was bought by the local government in Aydin Province, Turkey for around £65,000. They then arranged for the aircraft to be floated out to sea (in front of bemused tourists) and sunk. Once it settles on the seabed the shelter and protection the plane offers will attract fish, and in turn tourists and divers. Read more and see pictures here.

Mediterranean Sea Trawling Ban: Seabed trawling is to be banned in parts of the heavily overfished Mediterranean Sea in an attempt to rebuild fish stocks. The General Fisheries Committee of the Mediterranean agreed that an area of almost 15,000 square kilometres would be closed to fishing between Malta, Italy and Tunisia, as the area is an important nursery area for commercially important species such as hake and rose shrimp. While there are still many issues with overfishing in the Mediterranean the fact that so many countries have come together to agree on limits to trawling in a specific area offers encouragement that other areas may also be offered the same protection. Read more by clicking here.

Deal Festival: Friday 1st - Saturday 16th July 2016

Deal Festival

The beautiful and historic surroundings of Deal, Sandwich and Dover are the backdrop to an annual festival that celebrates great classical and contemporary music from some of the world's finest music-makers, as well as literature, theatre, opera, cinema, dance and the visual arts.

2016 marks the thirty-fourth anniversary of the Deal Festival of Music & Arts. Today it is one of the landmarks of the English music festival scene and a treasured east Kent institution, bringing music and arts lovers from far and wide to enjoy concerts and other events from world-class artists in an eclectic selection of venues and settings.

Click here for full details of events and venues.

Click here for a .pdf map of the Festival venues.

Summer Solstice 2016

Independent, 20th June 2016

This year's summer solstice coincides with the Strawberry Moon - a once-in-a-lifetime occurence.

The summer solstice is the longest day of the year, a day falling around late June when there are approximately 17 hours of light. The name comes from the Latin solstitium meaning "sun stands still". It happens because the sun stops heading north at the Tropic of Cancer and then returns back southwards. In the northern hemisphere this means the days begin to get shorter. But 2016 is a special year, because the solstice coincides with the Strawberry Moon, a once-in-a-lifetime occurence.

The Strawberry Moon is a full moon, which occurs in June, named by early Native American tribes. It is a full moon like any other, but marks the beginning of the strawberry season. The two events coincide once every 70 years.

This year the summer solstice falls on Monday, 20th June. The sun will rise at 4.45am and sunset will happen at 10.34pm.

Britsh Sea Fishing Newsletter

Britsh Sea Fishing, April/May 2016

British Sea Fishing on Share Radio: British Sea Fishing appeared on digital radio station Share Radio this week, discussing fish stocks, commercial fishing and the EU referendum. Click here to listen.

National Fish Vote: The vote to find the UK's national fish has moved a step closer, with the list now reduced to ten species. Several sea species are there including cod, mackerel and basking shark. Click here to view the full list and vote for a species. The results will be announced on Springwatch on BBC1 on 15th June.

Around the UK

At this time of year the waters around the UK are warming up and summer species will be starting to arrive soon.

Mackerel, one of the main summer species, have been reported from a number of locations around the south of England with the South West and Essex and Kent coastlines being the first to report this species arriving in the middle of May. Once June arrives mackerel should begin to be caught around most of the rest of the British Isles, although many areas need a spell of settled, calm weather to bring the mackerel shoals inshore and within casting range of anglers. As usual fathers and daylights are an effective way of catching mackerel, but many anglers have more fun scaling down the tackle to a small spinning rod and using spinners to catch this species.

Pollock and wrasse are two other species which anglers target in the summer months, with the combination of warmer seas and calm weather providing the best condition for these species. Rocky marks often produce the largest specimens, with both species will take float-fished baits such as ragworm or mackerel strip presented on a size 1/0 or 2/0 hook. Many anglers are now successfully catching wrasse on soft jelly lures and jelly worms, while pollock will take a range of lures (jelly eels and spinners) and can also be caught on baits presented on the seabed.

Plaice migrate to UK waters in the springtime, and can be caught across sandy and muddy beaches around most of the UK at this time of year. Try worm or crab baits on two or three hook flapper rigs with size 1 hooks to catch this species, with many anglers finding that adding beads and sequins to the hooklengths increases catches of this species. Bass and rays may also be present around UK marks at this time of year as well and can be caught on bottom-fished sandeel, peeler crab and mackerel strip baits. Anglers should remember that due to to Europe-wide legislation all bass caught must be returned to the sea alive and it is currently an offence to retain this species. However, from 1st July anglers will be able to retain a single bass per fishing session.

Britsh Sea Fishing Newsletter

Britsh Sea Fishing, April 2016

Cod Catch and Release Research: A Norwegian study has shown that cod recover quickly after being caught and released, in shallow water at least. The study was commissioned after earlier research showed that anglers in Norway released around half of what they caught - equating to over a million individual fish being released by anglers for cod alone. This study therefore wanted to ascertain the proportion of cod which survived after being returned to the sea. Keno Ferter, a PhD student at Norway's University of Bergen explained that the research began by catching eighty cod in traps and then fitting them with an acoustic tag which tracked their movement and behaviour. Two weeks were then allowed to pass so that the cod could recover from the process of being tagged. The second phase of the study then began with Ferter and his colleagues fishing with a rod and line every day for almost three weeks to try and re-catch the tagged cod. The team caught around seven-hundred cod, nine of which were found to have been tagged. These cod were handled carefully, unhooked and returned to the sea where their post-release behaviour was tracked. The study found that the released cod had a 100% survival rate, with most returning to normal behaviour shortly after returning to the water. Ferter concluded that cod do survive catch and release with little ill-effects, especially if they are handled properly, although he pointed out that the cod examined for this research were all caught in shallow water and the survival rate may not be the same if they were brought up from deeper water. He also had the following advice for anglers returning any fish they have caught:

"Avoid using large triple hooks; these can lead to foul-hooking and severe injuries. Use wet hands when touching the fish and avoid long air exposure. If you catch a lot of fish under the minimum landing size, it can be smart to change the fishing spot or use a different type of lure."

The results of this research will be very interesting to anglers who want to promote catch and release fishing, especially with the increasing claims that recreational fishing has a significant impact on fish stocks. Read the full report on the research here.

Anglers Protest: One of the biggest angling stories this month came from Cornwall, where anglers staged a protest about the restrictions which have been placed on bass fishing. Anglers across the country are furious that they have been banned from keeping any bass they catch until the end of June (and from the 1st July until the end of the year can only retain a single bass) while the highly damaging gill net fishery has had its quota increased. Around two hundred anglers joined the protest, which took place on Saturday 9th April outside the constituency office of the fisheries minister George Eustice MP, who was apparently not in Cornwall on the day of the protest. It remains to be seen what impact the protest will have, but it has certainly pushed bass up the agenda and shown that sea anglers are prepared to fight when unjust regulations are imposed on their sport. Read more by clicking here.

You can email George Eustice to let him know what you think of the current restrictions on anglers at or write to him at Geroge Eustice MP, 13 Commerical Street, Camborne TR14 8JZ.

Brexit and Fish Stocks: Fisheries minister George Eustice was in the news again this month when he visited Cornwall to convince commercial fishermen that they would be better off outside the European Union. The Brexit-supporting minister stated that if Britain votes to leave the EU on June 23rd then the UK could take control of its fishing ground and secure fairer quotas for its fishermen. He pointed out that in the Celtic Sea (off the south west coast of England) French fishermen had a quota to catch twice as many plaice as British fishermen and three to four times as many haddock - a situation that would change if the UK left the European Union and the Common Fisheries Policy. However, he was careful to point out that this would not mean a "free for all" for British fishermen, and quotas would have to remain in place to protect stocks, many of which have been severely overfished in recent years. Read more here.

Fishing Hooks: News from North East England highlighted the danger that fishing hooks can pose. Dog owners Jo and Mick Scott were walking their mastiff cross Harry along the beach at South Shields, near to the South Pier, an extremely popular mark for anglers. The dog ate a baited fishing hook and began to choke, and although Mr. Scott was able to snap the line he was unable to remove the hook. Although the dog was taken to a veterinary practice Harry could not be saved as the hook had pierced his oesophagus. Mr. and Mrs. Scott said that they were not looking to blame anyone but wanted to raise awareness that these type of accidents could happen. Of course only a tiny minority of anglers leave baited hooks on beaches through laziness or carelessness, but news such as this serves as a remind for all anglers to be extra-careful and to ensure that they always dispose of hooks responsibly. Read the original story on the South Shields Gazette website by clicking here.

Microbead Pollution: The Guardian reported this week that a majority of people in the UK backed a ban on microbeads - the tiny pieces of plastic found in cosmetic products such as face washes, toothpastes and a range of other cosmetic products. Microbeads are usually less than a millimetre in diameter and cause immense damage to marine ecosystems. Small marine creatures may consume microbeads, thinking that they are food, with the microbeads ending up inside larger marine fish when they prey on the creatures which originally ate the microbeads. There are also concerns that microbeads could end up in the human food supply through people eating fish with microbeads inside them. The tiny size of microbeads also means that they are almost impossible to remove from the oceans. The use of microbeads has already been banned in the USA, and a UK petition to ban the use of microbeads gained over 250,000 signatures earlier this year. The Guardian reported that 61% of women and 53% of men backed a ban on microbeads once they were made aware of what they were, and also pointed out that safe, biodegradable alternatives to microbeads - such as ground up nutshells - could be used instead. Read the full Guardian story by following this link.

Unlicensed Fishing: A campaign was launched this month to tackle the threat posed by unlicensed fishing. The aim of the campaign is to deal with the growing issue of people from unlicensed vessels, or those who catch fish from the shore, illegally selling fish to restaurants, hotels and other establishments. Launched in the famous Fishmongers Hall in London, the campaign is backed by the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations (NFFO), the British Hospitality Association and the Angling Trust. The campaign will highlight the fact that the trade of unlicensed and unregulated fish is not a victimless crime but causes serious damage to fish stocks around the UK, and is also a criminal offence which can lead to prosecution and a criminal record. However, a statement about the campaign on the NFFO website stated that following the campaign options to tackle the problem may include naming and shaming businesses which had been prosecuted for illegally buying fish, but also "putting bag limits on recreational catches of all affected species". Such a move would undoubtedly produce a furious reaction from the recreational angling community, who are already angry at the restrictions which have been placed on the number of bass which can be caught in 2016. At the moment such restrictions (on species other than bass) are only speculation, but recreational anglers are sure to be watching this campaign closely. Read the full article on the NFFOss website here.

Ambergris Found: A Lancashire couple are hoping to be £50,000 richer after finding a 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) lump of ambergris on their local beach. Gary and Angela Williams were walking along Middleton Sands near Morcambe when they found the ambergris which was described as being slightly smaller than a rugby ball, having a waxy texture and smelling like a mix of rotting squid and manure. Ambergris is produced in the intestines of sperm whales and is thought to ease the passage of sharp objects - such as squids beaks - through the digestive systems of the whales. However, some sperm whales will vomit out excess ambergris. When found by humans it can be immensely valuable as it is used in as an ingredient in high end cosmetic products such as perfumes. In 2015 a 1.1 kg piece of ambergris found on a Welsh beach sold for £11,000. However, Mr. and Mrs. Williams will be in for an anxious wait while tests are carried out to confirm that their discovery is genuine ambergris. In 2013 52-year-old Ken Wilman found a lump of what he thought was ambergris on Morcambe Beach which he thought could be worth more than £100,000 - a story which was covered by the BBC, The Sun, Channel 4 and even made the news as far away as Australia and America. After samples were sent away Mr. Wilman shocked to find out that his discovery was not ambergris, and was completely worthless … bumma.

The Deal Classic Motor Show

Index Magazine, Wednesday 13th April 2016

The classics will be rolling into Walmer Green, Deal on Sunday, 29th May 2016 for one of Kent's largest classic car events: The Deal Classic Motor Show.

The show will feature around 700 classic vehicles, from 1890 to the present day, with rare classics including a Citroen CV5 made in 1926 and a prototype Gilbern. For the boy racers there will be Aston Martins, Ferraris and Lamborghinis, and for the bikers Harley Davidsons, BSAs and Triumphs, plus those family classics from Ford, VW, MG and Morris plus many other amazing cars.

This year there will be a new display from the 999 emergency services and Manston Fire School and free classic bus rides. The two classic music stages will feature Ben Mills & his Band, Abalisious, Jodie South, Adur Concert Band and more. Plus, enjoy the retro market, children's entertainers and rides, real ale bar and much more. Public entry to the event is FREE.

The event is supporting the RNLI Walmer Life Boat and is organised by Classic Music and Motors, sponsored by Bayliss Executive Travel and KCC. For more information visit:

Britsh Sea Fishing Newsletter

Britsh Sea Fishing, 5th April 2016

World Record Cod: The world record for shore caught cod was broken in late February by a British angler fishing in Norway. Tom Ascott from Dorset caught a cod which came in at 66 lb 8 oz when it was weighed in verified scales. Ascott had been fishing on a guided fishing tour in the country when he reeled in the fish after a twenty minute battle. The record beats the old shore caught record for cod by over 20 lb. The boat caught record for cod is a fish of 103 lb which was also caught in Norwegian waters in 2013. Cod numbers have recovered through Norwegian waters, with many believing that a rod and line caught cod of over 100 lb could be caught in Norway in the near future.

Bass Stocks: A number of stories emerged from across the UK in February and March which underlined the anger anglers feel at bass being restricted to catching bass on a catch and release basis only, while the highly damaging gill net fishery has its quota increased. The Angling Trust urged anglers to lobby for political support to get a fairer outcome for anglers, and had some success when North Cornwall MP Simon Mann secured a three hour debate in parliament on the future of UK bass fishing. The Cornish Federation of Sea Anglers also called for better protection for bass, while the Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers said that making bass a catch and release only species could have a negative effect on the millions of pounds which the tourism generated by bass fishing creates.

Eels: The Guardian reported that critically endangered silver eels could be having their numbers further reduced by extensive illegal fishing. The newspaper reported that the rising demand from Asia - where a kilogram of silver eels can be worth over £1000 - was fuelling illegal fishing for this species. While restrictions have been put in place to limit the exportation of this species outside the European Union the financial rewards available make illegal fishing worthwhile.

Britain's National Fish: A vote is taking place to decide on the national fish of Britain. A wide selection of freshwater and marine species has been narrowed down to ten species from each environment with a national fish being selected by the end of May. Cast your vote for the shortlisted species by clicking here.

Puppet Show: An innovative new puppet show based on trawler fishing will be showing later this month in London, with a tour around the UK following. In Our Hands tells the story of Alf and his struggles to adapt as the fishing industry changes. Click here for more details.

Around the UK: The weather is warming up (slightly) and many anglers around the UK will be turning their attention to the spring and summer species which will soon be appearing around the British Isles. There have already been a few reports of plaice being caught in various locations around the UK. While these early season specimens can be somewhat thin and underweight they soon fatten up after feeding in the inshore waters with the average size of rod and line caught plaice increasing as the year goes on. A two or three hook flapping rig with size 1 or 2 hooks is the best method of catching this species, with ragworm, lugworm, peeler crab and mussel the best baits, especially if they are tipped off with a small strip of squid or silver mackerel belly. Catch rates can be increased by adding beads and sequins to the hooklengths, as plaice are an inquisitive species which will seek out visual attractions.

Despite the warming weather cod and whiting are still present around much of the UK, especially around the north. Rock marks can continue to produce some decent cod until well into the Spring with smaller cod staying around all year. Whiting and flounder will also provide sport for anglers, while bass are a possibility as well. There can be something of a lull in sea fishing around this time of the year as the winter species leave and the summer species have yet to arrive, although the relatively mild winter may mean that we do not have to wait too long for spring and summer species to start to appear in anglers' catches.

Size matters

Britsh Sea Fishing Newsletter

… the EU should also make amendments to the EU Technical Conservation Regulation (EU 850/98) to increase the minimum size at which bass can be landed (their 'minimum landing size', or MLS). Why does the MLS need to be increased ? Because large animals contribute much more to the next generation. They produce disproportionately more offspring than small fishes. For example, an 80cm bass produces 14 times more young than when it was 40cm (see figure below). This is why MLS is one of the most fundamental changes we need to see with regard to bass management and conservation …

Supersized fish: 21 record breaking rod snappers, in pictures

Daily Telegraph, Tuesday 29th March 2016

Click here to view all 21 images

Britsh Sea Fishing Newsletter

Britsh Sea Fishing, February 2016

Shore-caught cod record: The largest ever shore caught cod was landed this month in Norway by a British angler. Tom Ascott from Dorset was on a guided fishing holiday in Norway when he hooked the cod. When weighed on certified scales the cod came in at 66 lb 8 oz, breaking the previous shore caught record by over 20 lb. The boat caught record, a cod weighing 103 lb, was also caught in Norwegian waters in 2013. Read more and see pictures of the cod here.

Bass battle: The battle over bass stocks shows no signs of abating. Anglers have been outraged by bass being a catch and release only species for the first six months of 2016 (and being limited to retaining one fish a day for the rest of the year) while the highly damaging commercial gill net fishery has had its quota increased. Now politicians are getting involved on the side of anglers to try and get a fairer outcome. Scott Mann the Member of Parliament for North Cornwall - who is a keen angler himself - secured a three hour backbench debate in the House of Commons on UK bass stocks. Mr. Mann stated:

"The current situation we find ourselves in is grossly unfair on anglers. Both fishermen and anglers want to see bass stocks preserved and grown, but one party shouldn't have to suffer when they actually have very little impact on stocks. We need to have a different approach to this, and I hope my debate will highlight to the government why change is needed."

He went on to say that he had received a large amount of correspondence from anglers around the country showing their support. Getting MPs such as Mr. Mann onside will be welcomed by anglers who see the recently imposed rules as unfair and want them changed. Read more about Mr. Mann's comments here.

Illegal eel trade: The Guardian ran an interesting story this month looking at the decline of the silver eel (also known as the European eel). This species was abundant around most of Europe, but its numbers have plummeted in the last fifty years, meaning it is now classed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The Guardian reported that the European Union had placed restrictions on exporting this species, but increasing demand for eels from China had made the illegal trade of this species increasingly lucrative - eels can be worth as much as $1,500 (£1,055) per kilo once it arrives in Asia. Overfishing, dams and sluices blocking migration routes and climate change have all contributed to the decline in eel numbers and anglers and conservationists alike will be concerned to hear that huge amounts of eels are being illegally taken on top of this. Read the article here.

North Sea discards: With the discard ban being phased in over the coming years the wastage of perfectly good, edible fish was highlighted this month. The Scottish Fisheries Minister Richard Lochhead revealed that the amount of fish discarded in the North Sea alone would have fed two million people, enough to meet the entire demand for fish in a European nation such as Slovenia. Despite constant complaints from the commercial fishing industry the discard ban will be fully in place by 2019. Read more about Richard Lochhead's comments here.

Shark virgin birth: Finally, a shark at Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre displayed an extremely rare natural phenomenon of parthenogenesis (virgin birth) when it produced two healthy eggs, despite being the only member of its species in the centre, and having had no contact with males for over two years. Parthenogenesis involves offspring developing from an unfertilised egg and remains poorly understood by science. Indeed, it was only discovered that sharks could reproduce in this way in 2008. The eggs are due to hatch by the end of 2016. Read more here.

Britsh Sea Fishing Newsletter: December 2015/January 2016

Britsh Sea Fishing, 31st January 2016

Bass: Catch and Release for Anglers: The EU negotiations also had significant developments for UK bass anglers. It had been feared that rod and line fishing for bass could be banned, but instead from the 1st January to 30th June 2016 bass will be a catch and release species only. From 1st July to 31st December 2016 anglers will only be able to retain a single bass per day. These measures are part of a raft of regulations to restore bass stocks which have declined dramatically since 2009. While commercial fishing for bass will also be limited there was consternation among recreational anglers that the deeply damaging gill net fisheries would actually get an increase in the amount of bass they were able to catch. Read more from the Save Our Seabass website.

Nigel Farage: UKIP leader Nigel Farage - a keen local angler himself - expressed outrage at the ban on anglers retaining bass. He stated that the UK government should have stood up to the EU regulations and pointed out that the European Commission had voted through the measures meaning that there was nothing the British government could do to stop the regulations. Read the full article here.

Marine Conservation Zones: It was also announced this month that a new batch of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) will be created around the UK, adding to those that were designated in 2013. Although it is unclear exactly what protection will be afforded to creatures and the marine environment within the zones it is hoped that they will act as 'National Parks of the Sea' and allow fish to breed and immature fish to grow within the zones, boosting fish stocks around the UK. Read more here.

Sea fishing around the UK: We are now in the middle of winter and the very mild December has turned into a very cold January, with storms and bad weather affecting many areas of the UK coastline. While this can at times make sea fishing difficult the stirred up seabed can bring cod and other species within range of the sea angler as they feed on the creatures which have been dislodged from the seabed. Many anglers around the UK will be targeting cod at this time of year with big baits such as whole squid, mackerel fillet and cocktail baits presented on size 2/0 to 4/0 Pennell rigs a top method of catching a decent sized specimen.

When cod are not showing, the ever-dependable whiting can provide sport with flatfish, particularly flounders and dabs, also showing around much of the UK coastline. Anglers going for these species can use two-hook flapping rigs with size 1/0 hooks but use a strong pattern such as Mustad Viking as this will provide the strength to handle any larger cod which may take the bait. Remember that flounder can come very close to the shore and be caught in literally inches of water. If medium to long casts are not producing try casting just ten or twenty yards out and see if any flounder are present at close range.

January and February can be a very productive time for cod fishing, especially in the right conditions. In many areas night fishing can provide the best catches (especially if conditions have been flat and still) as larger fish come in closer to the shore under the cover of darkness.

New commercial and recreational fishing restrictions for Bass in 2016

Marine Management Organisation (Marine fisheries), 30th December 2015

In 2016 additional restrictions are to be implemented on both commercial and recreational fishermen which include the following:

For recreational fisheries (including fishing from the shore):

In ICES Areas IVb, IVc, VIIa, VIId, VIIe, VIIf, VIIg, VIIh

In ICES areas VIIj and VIIk from 1st January to 31st December 2016 one bass per fisherman per day.

For commercial fisheries:

The catch limits apply to a single vessel and cannot be transferred between vessels or between one month and another.