The Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network

            A charity registered in Scotland - RegNo:: SC039015


SEAFISH offices searched

THE headquarters of the Sea Fish Industry Authority in Edinburgh has been visited by police and fisheries enforcement officials as part of an ongoing investigation ( begun in 2005 ) into alleged illegal fish landings at Scottish ports.

The investigation has already involved specific issues relating to the landing of pelagic species in Shetland and in North-east Scotland but no further details of the current issue were released.


For safety’s sake

THE Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has reported a more than 50 per cent rise in fatal sea angling incidents - 11 sea anglers lost their lives while sea angling in 2007, which was up from seven in 2006.

It added that all the deaths occurred last year between May and October, with seven happening whilst fishing from a boat and four whilst angling from the shore.

Richard Jackson, the MCA’s prevention team manager says that given the number of anglers who participate in their sport, the rate of fatal accidents is still relatively low, but anglers do not appear to appreciate the need to wear lifejackets, particularly when angling from hostile coastal areas.

In an incident involving five anglers whose vessel sank, three were wearing lifejackets and were recovered, the other two did not have lifejackets and were not.

“Better preparation is a key factor,” says Richard Jackson.

“Wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid will aid your survival in our cold seas, and angling in company with others will ensure that there will be someone on hand to raise the alarm.”


Shetland scallop dredger fined

A SHETLAND fisherman was ordered to pay £3,000 at Lerwick Sheriff Court after he admitted breaching regulations designed to protect the islands’ shellfish stocks.

Stanley Gray was dragging 12 dredges just over a mile south east of Bressay Isle during the night of 1 February last year breaching the Shetland Islands Regulatory Fishery (Scotland)Order of 1999, which restricts scallop fishermen to 10 dredges and imposes a curfew between 9pm and 6am every day within the six mile limit.

The 47 year old disputed that the regulations were legal under European fisheries law as in my opinion he wasn’t breaking any European rules or regulations, however he changed his plea to guilty after his lawyer said he could not defend his position of not guilty.


World Ocean’s Day

World Oceans’ Day was established at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and is an international celebration of the seas aimed at raising awareness and understanding of the marine environment and threats to it.

There have been annual World Oceans’ Day events in Dumfries & Galloway almost every year since 1992 involving a range of educational activities.

This year it will be held at Port William, Sunday 8th June 11am to 4pm and SSACN will be attending.

Anyone wishing to help out on our stand by giving demonstrations, coaching or just generally contributing please get in touch via the ‘Contact Us’ page.

Of real interest to the kids (old and young) will be Andy Starbucks’ Cool Seas Road Show (See ) which is a collection of hand made lifesize inflatable marine creatures including whales, dolphins, turtles etc and leads children’s workshops.


Scotland - no plans to protect tope

In the House of Lords, Lord Taylor of Holbeach (Cons) asked HMG :

With reference to the Tope (Prohibition of Fishing) Order 2008 (SI 2008/691), whether Articles 3, 4 and 5 provide that tope may be caught using a rod and line but may not be landed in England nor transshipped to a fishing boat from another part of the United Kingdom; and whether tope may, in those circumstances, be landed in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Lord Rooker (Minister of State (Sustainable Farming, Food and Animal Welfare), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) replied -

The Tope (Prohibition of Fishing) Order 2008 prohibits tope caught by rod and line from being landed, alive or dead, in England only. Anglers can continue to practice catch and release. Only tope caught by methods other than rod and line, up to a limit of 45 kg per day liveweight, may be landed. Tope caught by any method may currently be landed in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Tope may not be transshipped by UK vessels in English waters and within British fishery limits, excluding Northern Ireland zone, the Scottish zone, Wales or the territorial sea adjacent to the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

We understand that the Welsh Assembly Government intend to introduce an equivalent statutory instrument and the Scottish Executive are considering this matter further. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland has no plans to introduce similar measures.

In a discussion with SSACN, a representative of the Scottish Government’s Marine Directorate (SGMD) indicated that Cabinet Secretary Lochhead has no intention of introducing any such statutory instrument. This will be a topic at a meeting with the SGMD next week.


Isle of Man to protect scallops

A NEW byelaw has been introduced in the Isle of Man banning all forms of towed fishing gear in Douglas Bay until 2011 to help protect scallop fisheries. This is the second such coastal area in Manx waters to introduce the ruling.

Today, 26,000 two-year-old scallops were placed into the bay by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) who will closely monitor scallop populations in Douglas Bay and elsewhere over the next few years.

It is hoped that this seeding and closure will enable scallops to be left in peace to repopulate the area on a larger level.


More Government support for the commercial fishing communities

THE North Sea Women’s Network - an international organisation based in Scotland, set up to better the lives and livelihoods of people living in coastal communities - is hosting a conference in Edinburgh next month to look at the issues surrounding the management of change in coastal communities.

Funded by the Scottish Government and sponsored by the North Sea Commission, the event will be opened by Richard Lochhead and will be held at The Hub on May 14.

An international panel of presenters will tackle issues related to fisheries and aquaculture; workshops will explore issues facing women in coastal communities and look at ways to regenerate communities, keep young people in them, and put back a sense of pride.

Nicki Holmyard, network chair said “We are keen to attract the wives of fishermen, those involved in aquaculture and the seafood industry in any capacity. The conference is free of charge, and assistance with travel and accommodation may be available.”

The organisers are especially interested in feedback from the workshop sessions, which will be presented to a government convention on communities later this year.

The Government continues to ignore the plight of those communities dependent on sea angling and other marine recreational activities.


Feathers appeal more than fins

RSPB Scotland supports the announcement that the Scottish Government is looking to extend up to 31 Special Protection Areas (SPAs) to give seabird feeding grounds the same protection as their nesting colonies on the land.

The RSPB Scotland head of conservation policy - Lloyd Austin was quoted as saying “This is very welcome news, and a good step forward for the marine environment which has been left behind in terms of conservation for too long. We protect seabird nesting colonies on land, so it makes sense to also protect their vital feeding grounds too.

Austin hopes that these SPA extensions will take effect as soon as possible.

However, these should only be seen as a first step towards a comprehensive network of marine protected areas in key inshore and offshore areas, as part of an integrated management regime in forthcoming marine legislation on both sides of the border.

The Government however say they can’t introduce protected areas for fish !


The State of Scotland’s Seas

Towards the end of summer 2007 the Scottish Government asked Fisheries Research Services ( FRS), the Scottish Environment Protection Agency ( SEPA) and Scottish Natural Heritage ( SNH) to collaborate and report on the state of Scotland’s seas.

This report includes contextual information and an initial data inventory and aims to inform the development of the Scottish Marine Bill in 2008. Development of a fuller State of Scotland’s Seas is underway with the intention of publishing this in 2010.

The first integrated assessment of the state of UK seas was undertaken in 2002 and the Scottish marine community contributed to that report. The Scottish marine environment and the diverse array of animals and plants that it supports is an invaluable national and international resource.

The report can be viewed at

or downloaded in PDF form from

The Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network is is proudly powered by Wordpress
Navigation2 Theme by GPS Gazette

FireStats icon Powered by FireStats