The Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network

            A charity registered in Scotland - RegNo:: SC039015

30
Dec

Save our Fish and Save our Jobs

SSACN got a wee mention in the Sunday Post this weekend.

Stevie Gallagher, their journalist, had picked up on one of our papers The Forgotten Sea which gave him the inspiration. The following is the text of the article after scanning it in, any errors are either due to the OCR or my proofing

Save our fish and save our jobs

THE LUCRATIVE sea angling industry in Scotland and the north of England is facing collapse due to the state of our stocks, writes Stevie Gallacher.

Ports from Whitby through North Berwick and Dunbar via Arbroath and Stonehaven right up to Scrabster have attracted anglers from around the world, supporting thousands of jobs worth £150 million a year.

But inshore trawlers and longliners hammering fish from the Mull of Galloway, via the Clyde and the Sound of Mull to the west coast sea lochs, have seen a downturn in business for communities reliant on angling tourism. If the trend goes on, thousands of jobs will be lost.

That’s the view of the Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network.

Angling boat skipper Ian Burrett is Vice-President of the charity, and explained, “Scotland was once one of Europe’s top destinations for sea angling. It had many species which were either unavailable or not readily accessible anywhere else and millions of tourism pounds supported fragile coastal economies.

Limited value

“But due to the lack of stocks, sea angling in Scotland is bordering on collapse. Ironically, most of the species of interest to anglers are of limited value commercially — fish like pollack, skate, conger eel, wrasse, mullet, spurdog and tope.”

“But many are lost as discards or through their environments being destroyed by commercial practices. It’s estimated 500 million fish are thrown away every year.”

“A study was done where I live, in Drummore, near Stranraer, a small community of around 410 people.There are 20 full-time jobs dependent on angling.”

The only way to replenish stocks, says Ian, is to change commercial fishing practices. Possible solutions put forward by the SSACN include a protected national marine park.

Ian said, “Twenty-five years ago,officials in Florida created a Marine Park with angling-only interest. The angling income has risen from £1 billion to £8 billion and provides 80,000 jobs, There’s no reason we can’t produce a mini-Florida here.”

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