Divers to analyse marine life in Jersey waters

Les Minquiers It is hoped the survey will be repeated over the next five years

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Sea life experts are to analyse changes to marine life in Jersey waters.

A survey by divers of outlying reefs such as the Minquiers and the Ecrehous is due to begin next week.

Experts from the UK and France will join a team from Jersey identifying the species that live in the waters around the offshore reefs.

Coordinator Kevin McIlwee said he hoped the information would provide a picture of changes to the marine environment around the island.

He said: "One of the aspects [of the survey] is where fish actually breed.

"By identifying these areas we can advise the local fishermen they should perhaps refrain from fishing in those areas particularly during the breeding periods and therefore see an increase in fish stocks."

He said little or no data of this type had been recorded from Jersey's outlying reefs.

Experts on algae, marine molluscs and fish will be building up data on species movement and presence.

It has been organised by Jersey Seasearch with support from the Societe Jersiaise and the States of Jersey.

Mr McIlwee said the plan was to repeat the survey over the next five years.

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