To assess the potential of cockle grounds in the intertidal areas around North Ford in North Uist and South Ford in South Uist , Luskentyre in Harris and Traigh Mhor, Barra with a view to supporting, a sustainable, local, cockle fishery.
The Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust tendered successfully to undertake the work and local FLAG funding was also secured.
The surveys commenced at the first spring tides of 2019 with the report expected to be presented to the OHRIFG by the end of January 2020. In the event bad weather and COVID have significantly delayed the work and the production of the report which has only (03 02 21) recently been submitted.
Good market demand exists for hand gathered cockles and it’s anticipated that a well -managed, sustainable cockle fishery could provide good returns to local communities, in close proximity, to the above beaches.
The OHRIFG has discussed future management of the local hand gathered cockle fishery and depending on the results of the forthcoming survey has suggested the following management measures.
The results will be shared with members of the Cockle Sub Group in the first instance and with interested parties in Barra, Uist and Harris. This is presently being arranged.
The Regional Inshore Fisheries Groups (RIFGs) aim to improve the management of inshore fisheries in the 0-6 nautical mile zone of Scottish waters, and to give commercial inshore fishermen a strong voice in wider marine management developments.