Museum at Home > Fishing Net
The harbour in Lyme Regis is called the Cobb, it has existed since at least 1313 and creates a refuge from South Westerly and South Easterly winds and storms. The Cobb enabled the town to develop as both a port and a shipbuilding centre. The making of nets and ropes, was an important industry in the area, particularly in Bridport, which became famous as the biggest producer of nets in the UK.
Made from a range of materials, originally hemp and flax, nets have an open structure in which threads are fused, looped or knotted to create a loose structure which can be used for fishing and trapping animals. Fishing has a long history in Lyme and continues to the present day.
Lyme Bay is now one of the largest marine conservation areas in the UK protected from dredging and trawling. A project initiated in 2012 by the Marine Conservation agency BLUE and local fishermen, aims to preserve the rocky reefs, the species that that live there including the largest colony of pink sea fans in the British Isles. Small-scale fishing continues within sustainable limits, but trawler fishing and dredging is banned and recent reports from Plymouth University have suggested that the reef species have slowly started to return.