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Marine Biology


We are working in collaboration with students from Exeter University to help us identify new ways of approaching sustainable fisheries. Read here about their invaluable involvement and their passions for our seas.

Katherine Maltby

Hello! I’m Katherine, a PhD student at the University of Exeter. I currently undertake research surrounding the future impacts of climate change on fisheries throughout the south-west UK, and try to do this using an approach which uses both scientific data methods alongside talking and engaging with fishing communities in the ports. I have many broad interests in fisheries, particularly how we can better manage these systems for the benefit of both the marine environment and the people that are fishing the resources within them. I’m also really passionate about increasing awareness of sustainable fisheries and communicating to consumers about where and how their fish comes to be on their plate. That’s why I’m so excited to be involved with SoD – I think it’s a great way to recognise the efforts of fishers who work in responsible and sustainable ways, whilst also helping to get the consumer much better connected to the sea and where their fish actually comes from! You can find out more about my fishy adventures here:

Bryony Uglow

I am a research master’s student based at the University of Exeter. My interests are in fisheries and marine ecosystems, and the effect that climate change is having on these, particularly in the waters around the South West of the UK.

My love of the oceans and concern for the marine environment started at a young age, and was reinforced upon learning to scuba dive at the age of 16. I went on to study Marine Biology at Swansea University, and since then I have been lucky enough to dive and work in some of the most incredible marine environments, both at home and abroad. Whilst I have had some amazing experiences, I have also experienced at first-hand the damage caused by irresponsible fishing.

Sole of Discretion appeals to me because it is founded on ethical, responsible fishing. It aims to provide a sustainable and traditional lifestyle for the local in-shore fishing fleets through financial incentive to fish responsibly and sustainably. Equally, it gives customers the peace of mind that they are not contributing to the depletion of the marine ecosystem; it is a really exciting project.


Hello! I’m Lowenna, a keen 2nd year undergraduate at the University of Exeter studying at the Cornwall campus in Penryn. Having grown up on the South west coast of Cornwall I have always had a fascination with the ocean, but more importantly about what is within and below, or in this case what is no longer below, due to the main threat to biodiversity, humans.

One species of fish that is so patriotic to Cornwall it is named after it, is the Cornish Sardine. Cornish sardines or ‘Pilchards’ are tiny silvery fish, high in omega 3 and have tiny bones that can easily be chewed and consumed. They are one of the smaller fish in the ocean reaching a maximum length of 27cm, shoaling around 5 miles off the coast between depths of 10-100 metres.

When it comes to fishing, the sardines are rated as one of the most sustainable options of fish, having limited impact on the ocean ecosystem. Sardines are caught by a process called ‘Ring netting’, a large net 250 metres long that is used to scoop the fish when they are identified. Fishing occurs at night, therefore fishers have to use sonar and echolocation to locate the fish, with this they can identify the species, therefore unwanted fish are avoided in the catch. Fish are directly placed in to an iced water tank on board, to maximize the freshness at market.

Sardines are best fished and eaten between July and January due to water temperatures, where they migrate south in the winter months. Great barbecued, grilled and on toast, they are an extremely versatile, delicious but more importantly sustainable fish.


Hello My name is Isla Keesje Davidson and I am currently studying my final year of Biosciences at Exeter University. I was initially curious in marine biology from diving under the waters surface, a 13 year old excited to explore the different world we could not live under. From that point, I found myself selecting any opportunity to study and learn more about the marine ecosystems. I am constantly surprised at the extent to which the ocean systems and their terrestrial neighbours influence each other, directly and indirectly. I am excited to be involved in Sole Of Discretion because I realise that even with this interest in the marine environment, and a strong desire to preserve its biodiversity, I remain naive to how the challenges of overfishing affect those who go out on their boats and carry out their fishing profession. With increased transparency, integrated scientific understanding, and the investment of local fishermen, we as consumers can be given the choice to select sustainably sourced fish and support those that strive to achieve it. As a student that still remains in the stage of learning, I hope to contribute what I can to Sole of Discretion to ultimately make that element of choice available to as many as possible.