The Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network

Fish for the Future

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Sea Angling in the Solway - Present and Future

August 3rd, 2007 · No Comments

At our meeting with the Scottish Executives Fisheries people, Ian Burrett presented a paper on sea angling in the Solway - Present and Future. The following is a brief summary of it, the full version may found here.

The Solway is blessed with many different geological regions. Because of this it was once a haven for a wide variety of species, unfortunately, the stocks of many have declined to the point where they are now regarded as locally extinct.

Fishing down the foodchain has already make it commercially inviable to trawl for whitefish; the bulk of the commercial activity now revolves around shellfish.

The region faces a major problem in scallop dredgers from outwith the area, in Dec 2004, 31 clam dredgers heavily worked a patch in Luce Bay which is now a 10 sq mile, featureless, fishless desert.

If fishery management objectives aren’t realigned to deliver ‘Best Value’ then a valuable resource will be lost, to recreational and commercial fishermen alike.

Sea anglers should be directly involved in the development of stock management policies and the decision making processes to help ensure the survival of species which are generally not considered as they are of ‘no commercial value’.

A number of “Fishing Centers” could help make the Solway a world class fishing tourist resort. This would require areas to be set aside and developed for the use of recreational angling and traditional non-destructive commercial methods.

Losing the recreational fishery could cost the local economy over £20 M/yr.

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Issue 18 of El Anzuelo

August 2nd, 2007 · No Comments

Volume 18 of El Anzuelo, the IEEP European newsletter on fisheries and the environment is now available. The focus of this edition is on the Ecosystem-based Approach to Fisheries Management

Other articles in this edition cover:

Taking Stock - 5 years after the CFP reform - what has been achieved ?
Are ‘RACs’ achieving their aim of attaining more sustainable fisheries ?
Long term measures for Baltic Cod

The newsletter can be downloaded from here

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Traders launch legal action over ‘black’ fish landings

August 2nd, 2007 · No Comments

Scotsman :: Fish traders are set to launch legal action against the Scottish Executive amid claims that authorities failed to prevent their livelihoods being ruined by the illegal trade in ‘black’ fish landings.

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SE - SSACN Meeting Kirkcubright

July 28th, 2007 · No Comments

As this was the first public meeting with all three organisations acting under the SSACN banner there was a quick briefing regarding that - it was met with approval by the SE, particularily as it gives them only one organisation to deal with.

They also recognised the effectiveness of some of our lobbying to date.

BUT WE COULD DO BETTER - YOUR SUPPORT IS ESSENTIAL

We informed them that SSACN through SOS would be interested in working with SEERAD in a tagging programme for the Spurdog as we remain convinced that the Spurdog in Sunnart and Etive are a unique local resident population.

They mentioned SEERAD are supporting proposals for a 5% bycatch on Spurdog in the EU talks later this year, we asked them to confirm this in writing and indicate if possible, where this proposal came from and who is supporting it.

There was quite a discussion on skate, and whilst they believed the fish are very transient Ian suggested the tagging programme administered by Glasgow museum (which they knew nothing about) indicated that although there may be a shifting juvenile population the adult breeding stock rarely strays more than a few miles and should be protected.

We also highlighted that Thornback Ray stocks are severely depleted in the West and SW coasts and that Defra had placed a 25% bycatch on the rays which was quickly changed to a 200kg daily catch limit (again something they knew naught about), we suggested that a good management tool would be a suitable closed season - the fish enter the bay for breeding purposes in March and leave during July.

One area we failed to discuss fully due to time pressures concerned the Porbeagle but Ian has followed this up with a mail to get them to confirm their position on finning as the UK states it has always been a leading advocate of the control of shark finning in the EU yet still allows the granting of special permits which technically allows finning to go ahead.

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IFG Meetings - SE looking for input

July 28th, 2007 · No Comments

There are a series of meetings being held around the country regarding Inshore Fisheries Groups (IFGs). The Scottish Executive intend that these groups will be given the responsibility to create a local inshore fisheries plan and that the IFGs should comprise only commercial fishing interests.

Ahead of the Solway IFG discussion meeting on Tuesday, we had a meeting with the SE representatives to lobby for a presence on the IFGs and SIFAG (Scottish Inshore Fisheries Advisory Group) for SSACN as we believe that the combined efforts of a variety of stakeholders is required to ensure that narrow interests of one sector do not prevail to the detriment of any other local stakeholder.

This was re-inforced in the public meeting later that day and agreed to by several of the commercial interests who were present, the only strong voice against greater inclusion was the representative of the scallop dredgers.

To reinforce this message it is essential we
have a presence at every one of the future meetings, the latest list can be found at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Fisheries/Sea-Fisheries/InshoreFisheries/HRODavidWilsonLetter but in the meantime the next times/dates are  :

# 31 July 7.30pm    Dark Island Hotel, Benbecula
# 8 August 12.45pm     Palace Hotel, Inverness
# 8 August 7pm     Museum of Scottish Lighthouses, Fraserburgh
# 9 August 7pm     Town Hall, upper floor, Stonehaven
# 15 August 5pm     St Moluag’s Diocesan Centre, Oban
# 16 August 6pm     Templer’s Hall, Tarbert

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Irish skipper fined

July 25th, 2007 · No Comments

IRISH skipper/owner Denis McCarthy, has been ordered to pay a total of £18,600 in fines and costs for a series of offences in the Celtic Sea Hake Recovery Zone.McCarthy, of Skibereen, Co. Cork pleaded guilty at Haverfordwest magistrates court on Monday in a case brought by the Marine and Fisheries Agency (MFA).

McCarthy, who had claimed he was fishing for nephrops, was fined £2,500 for using cod ends of 95 mm and 97 mm in his twin trawls - instead of the minimum 100 mm required in the Hake Recovery Zone.

He was fined £5,000 for failing to accurately record hake, angler fish and nephrops in his catch log book, a further £5,000 for failing to stow his catch of hake separately, as required, in his fish room, £500 for an unsafe boarding ladder, a further £4,700 for the value of the fish, and costs of £920.

MFA chief executive Nigel Gooding said after the case: “When fishermen blatantly cheat on the rules, which are designed to conserve fish stocks, they also have a direct impact on the vast majority of fishermen who are operating legally.”

Click here for further details

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Dutch scallop dredger ordered to pay £47,000

July 20th, 2007 · No Comments

The UK skipper and Dutch owners of the 38 metre Dutch scallop dredger, Jacoba UK307 were ordered to pay a total of £47,000 in fines and costs by Brighton magistrates on Friday July 20th.

Skipper Robert Johnston, 46, of Penzance, and owners Zeevisserij Pasterkamp of Urk, Netherlands, pleaded guilty to a total of 45 offences in a case brought by the Marine and Fisheries Agency.

The court heard that the Jacoba is one of the biggest scallop boats fishing in UK waters and that the offences took place in the east and west Channel.

Johnston was fined a total of £10,300 for : 14 log book offences; 13 offences of failing to submit accurate landing declarations; 18 offences of retaining sole where there was no Dutch allocation; and a fine to contribute to value of the fish.

Total fines for the owners for the same offences were £23,600 plus £13,800 costs.

Further details here.

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Prawn Fisheries face tighter regulation

July 10th, 2007 · No Comments

Scotsman :: New measures to protect cod could mean tighter regulation of Scotland’s prawn fisheries next year - Bertie Armstrong said the pressure to conserve cod was likely to have a disproportionate impact on vessels targeting nephrops. He went on to say prawn fisheries already played a key role in the name of conservation.

Prawn fisheries playing a key role in conservation - tell that to the 11 million fish discarded annualy in the Clyde. - sscan editor

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Fishing Focus 7 issued

July 2nd, 2007 · No Comments

The latest issue of Fishing Focus is available as a PDF file from here on the Defra site

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