Sustainable Sunday’s – Fishing Methods

It’s sustainable Sunday!
Today we are looking at sustainable fishing methods, mainly lobster potting. Fishing is a vital part of Cornwall and most of the British coastline’s heritage. It supports the local economy and has provided a very important food resource for thousands of years. How we actually obtain our fish however is key.

In Cornwall we’re very lucky: most fishing boats here are small and use very sustainable methods of catching fish. Lobster potting is actually one of the most sustainable fishing methods and has been used for hundreds of years. 


How does potting work?

“Pots are dropped down to the seabed and are left for several hours or days before being retrieved. Any undersized crustaceans can be returned unharmed and in Cornwall research has shown there is little impact on the seabed where the pots are deployed” (Cornwall good seafood guide). Pots are often marked with flags or buoys at each end so they can be easily identified when the fishermen return. 


Photo by Cornwall Good Sea Food (link below)


Lobster fisherman can control the amount they would like to catch by limiting or increasing their pots. Lobster pots also have little by-catch, however this by catch has a high chance of survival, as it can be quickly checked and returned to the sea. Finally, potting does very little harm to habitats, pots will rest on a small area of the seabed for a short amount of time before being hauled back out. 

If you’d like to know more check out the pros and cons of each fishing method on the Cornwall Good Sea Food Guide or you can check out our Educational Leaflets.