Cuttle Pot Impact and Egg Laying Media Trials

D&S IFCA carried out a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) assessment on potting for cuttlefish on the seagrass beds of the Torbay MCZ. This resulted in uncertainties surrounding the potential impact the cuttle pots may have on the seagrass feature of the site due to a lack of external research and literature on this subject.

It was decided as part of the D&S IFCA 2018-2019 Annual Plan to carry out a small-scale study to investigate possible impacts. This was done by placing GoPro cameras on a cuttle pot and setting it in a seagrass bed. The pot was shot and hauled for a total of six times with varying soak times. The full report and results of this study can be found here

The second component of this project was to carry out a pilot study to investigate the use of different artificial media attached to cuttle pots for cuttlefish to lay eggs on. This is due to cuttlefish laying eggs on the pot during the fishing season, which are often removed before having the chance to hatch. Bungy cords and trawl net were attached to two pots with the idea they could be removed and placed in the water to allow the hatching after the fishing season was finished.   

Unfortunately, the cuttlefish fishery was much reduced during the year and no eggs were laid on the artificial media. Therefore, this small-scale trial to test the media was unsuccessful.

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