Cuttlefish are being exploited off the Sussex coast at an alarming rate, according to University of Brighton experts, who have just begun a new £60,000 research project with funding from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

Marine biologist Dr Corina Ciocan, whose research on aquatic environmental stresses and contaminants will focus on cuttlefish catches off Hastings, explains: “The lack of control measures on trawler catches and an increase in the market value has led to an alarming exploitation of this marine resource. The research will provide an improved understanding of breeding and reveal the impact of intensive fishing efforts on cuttlefish population survival.”

Cuttlefish have an internal shell, the cuttlebone, and W-shaped eyes, simultaneously seeing forwards and backwards. They are among the most intelligent invertebrates and have one of the largest brain-to-body size ratios of all invertebrates.

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