The Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network

            A charity registered in Scotland - RegNo:: SC039015

11
Jun

Just another talking shop

Lib Dem Shadow Fisheries Secretary Mike Rumbles today claimed the new Scottish Fisheries Panel would be a pointless talking shop as according to him :

“A fortnight ago, the First Minister claimed that his government had set up an expert panel to develop alternatives to the Common Fisheries Policy.”

“Today, the Fisheries Secretary has confirmed to me that the panel doesn’t yet exist. He admitted that when it does get up and running it will have no requirement to take legal advice and no requirement to consult with governments in London or Brussels.”

Mike Rumbles pointed out “This is a pointless time wasting exercise as Scotland cannot leave the Common Fisheries Policy without leaving the EU, and the First Minister and the Fisheries Secretary know this very well. To suggest otherwise is a blatant attempt to mislead the Scottish public and the fishing industry.”

“Instead of talking endlessly and pointlessly to each other about an illegal policy, the SNP should engage constructively with the UK and Europe to support Scotland’s fishing industry.”

Mr Rumbles should remember the government is quite happy to spend millions of pounds and endless hours of effort to support the commercial fishing sector, but don’t ask it to do anything REAL to regenerate inshore stocks, address destructive methods, reduce bycatch or save species threatened by over exploitation and/or discarding.


09
Jun

COAST win Observer Ethical Award

The Observer ethical awards are instrumental in progressing ethical thinking and ideas in the UK.

Their aim is to reward those pioneering a sustainable future for the country and to recognise the very best products, innovations and schemes that make living ethically achievable; they also highlight those who give ethical living a mainstream and practical appeal.

In the Conservation section, the judges selected COAST - the community-based project on the Isle of Arran - which aims to protect the unique biodiversity of Lamlash Bay and to give its productivity a chance to recover for future generations.

Celebratory-panelist Deborah Meaden said - ‘It was wonderful to see a local community say: “We’re going to do this.” After all, it’s easy to gain support for a fluffy animal, but nobody cuddles fish.’

For the last thirteen years COAST have worked with fishermen, politicians and wider communities to gain protection for Lamlash Bay - the award recognised their staying power and complete dedication.


06
Jun

The value of Sea Angling in Scotland

If you sea fish in Scotland, or have done so in the last three years this concerns you !

A team of economists from Glasgow Caledonian University are working to produce an economic assessment of recreational sea angling in Scotland.

Although the Scottish Government and the Marine Directorate ‘go the extra mile’ to support commercial fishing activities they have always been reluctant to make any significant moves to support recreational sea angling on the grounds that there is little data regarding how much it is worth !!.

When completed, this study will help to ensure that policy makers understand Scottish sea angling’s true significance and how best to realise its future potential.

In order to maximise the impact of this work it is essential that as many sea anglers as possible complete the on-line questionnaire at www.gcal.ac.uk/econsurv/seaangler3.htm

Please take the time to fill in the questionnaire, pass on the message to your friends and encourage as many others as possible to provide their input.

You don’t have to be Scottish, just to have fished here within the last three years.

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You can also help SSACN in other ways, we are always looking for people to help get through the day-to-day stuff that needs to be done; to help us with marketing, fund raising or developing our use of alternative web technologies. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

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04
Jun

Survival and level playing fields

THE UK Government today failed to show commitment to the survival of the UK fishing industry according to Barrie Deas, the chief executive of the NFFO as Mr Shaw said no to de minimus aid for the UK fishing fleet to help offset fuel costs.

Bertie Armstrong also criticised Mr Shaw who claimed the UK didn’t have the resources to pay out de minimus aid. All parties agree it would not solve the industry’s problems anyway.

The commercial representatives agreed aid would have signaled a Government commitment to ensure the survival of the fishing industry and that it was important to have a level playing field in aid terms across Europe and the UK.


03
Jun

More prawns, skate and rays for under 10s

The MFA and other UK fisheries administrations have increased the catch limit for North Sea nephrops for under 10m vessels to 15 tonnes per vessel per quarter (up from 10 tonnes)

This increase will help make sure that UK fishermen in the North Sea can take full advantage of the summer nephrops fishery according to Minister Shaw.

North Sea skates and rays have now been added to the list of stocks for which leasing is possible to provide additional quota.


31
May

Deeper cuts proposed for 2009

The European Commission is proposing to make deeper than usual cuts in fishing quotas in 2009 to tackle depleted stocks.

In a policy document the EU claim 88% of EU fish stocks are now overexploited versus 80% at this time last year and a global average of 25%; they also claim Europe’s domestic catch has decreased to 40% of all fish products consumed.

For its 2009 quota proposals, the Commission indicated they will abandon the policy of not varying TACs by more than 15% and will cut them by at least 25% for the most threatened stocks.

Scientists have long advised zero fishing for the most threatened stocks, but the Commission usually tries to balance the need for stock preservation with the need to keep fishermen in business claiming that if the fishing industry is against measures then any such measures are very difficult to implement.

For species less at risk from overfishing, annual TAC reductions will not be higher than 20% and in some cases, where fish numbers are increasing there could be increases up to 25%.


29
May

Solway Tidelines - July 08

The latest edition of Tidelines is now at the printers.

It contains a really good article by Ian highlighting SSACN’s Event and the sea angling debate at Holyrood as well as highlighting the need to halt the decline of inshore stocks to help ensure there will be ‘Fish for the Future’.

Tidelines is available for download from the the SSACN website or from the Solway Firth Partnership website.


22
May

Megrim migraine

SELLING 600 kilos of unrecorded megrim at the Scalloway market last December cost a skipper almost £3,000 at Lerwick Sheriff Court.

The skipper of the Banff registered fishing vessel Scotia was fined £2,100 plus the value of the fish at £764 after pleading guilty to not recording 574 kilo of the species in the vessel’s logsheet.


21
May

Managing Scotland’s fish quota

The review of the management of Scotland’s fish quota was outlined today by Richard Lochhead; the key objectives are :

  • To safeguard Scotland’s traditional fishing rights for now and the future by keeping them in Scotland.
  • Make sure Scottish fishermen get their fair share of quota providing stability and security so that businesses can plan for the future.
  • Make sure fishing quotas are only held by businesses who fish them.
  • Encourage new blood into the industry by seeking to develop a new entrants scheme that will allow new fishermen to access quota.
  • Reform licensing to make it simpler and user-friendly so reducing business costs.

According to Mr Lochhead “Every time I visit a fishing community in Scotland I am asked to take steps to protect fishing rights for future generations. Today’s proposals aim to do just that.”

Every time he is asked to protect sea anglers rights and interests - he just ignores them.

The consultation period will run until August 21, 2008. The full consultation document and summary can be found here.

The plans give a firm thumbs down to Individual Transferable Quotas for the Scottish fleet and the foreword reiterates the goal of withdrawing from the CFP.

No doubt there will be quite some input in those areas !

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