Scotland’s inshore waters are important. They extend 12 nautical miles from Scotland’s enormous 18,000km coastline, cover over half of the country’s territorial area and were historically a rich source of wealth for coastal communities.
Despite the importance of inshore waters, their management has been neglected. Over-fishing and the use of fishing gears which damage habitats have not only been permitted but promoted. As a consequence the inshore ecosystem has been degraded and the valuable fin-fish stocks have collapsed to the point that coastal communities no longer enjoy a mixed and vibrant economy.
SIFT has welcomed the publication of a study carried out by leading fisheries scientists from the University of York looking into the implications of reduced numbers of predatory fish species at the top of the food chain. The research further supports SIFT's concerns over the Firth of Clyde's coastal fisheries as well as underlining the importance of recovery of mixed fisheries to boost employment within the inshore fisheries sector. SIFT’s Director, Charles Millar, said: “The study has particular relevance for the Clyde. It notes that prawns now dominate the Firth of Clyde fishery. In 1985, finfish such as cod made up more than 60 % of the landings by weight and 37 % by value. However by 2008, this had fallen to just 2 % by weight and 0.5 % by value. Now prawns alone make up 84 % of landings by weight and 87 % by value.” Mr Millar added: “The Clyde prawn fishery really is in the last-chance saloon. Although it provides lucrative rewards in the short-term, if stocks w
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Sustainable Inshore Fisheries Trust is a Registered Scottish Charity Number SC042334