Measures to protect spawning cod in the Firth of Clyde will continue in 2022 and 2023, with changes to those previously announced. The Scottish Government has decided to increase the benefits of the closure by making it more targeted and focused. The overall size of the closure compared to previous years has been reduced by 28%*, while providing increased protection to spawning cod by prohibiting all fishing activity in the closed areas.
An SSI has now been laid in Parliament and can be viewed here.
This change will have a short-term impact on local fishers given that the full closure of the fishery is for 11 weeks, but by taking action now, we hope to see the stock replenish which will ultimately be beneficial for fishing interests.
Further information on the decision can be found in the following blog and webpage.
The closure will come into effect on 14th February 2022
Whilst creels are included in the closure, provided that all creels are left open and unbaited and are not otherwise used for any fishing activity, they may be left in situ on the seabed during the period of the closure. Alternatively they may be lifted and relocated for the duration of the closure.
We are due to hold a meeting in February regarding the publication of the report referenced within the consultation document. The publication of this report has been delayed as the result of a number of often unexpected pressing external events which took up Marine Scotland officials’ time. These included dealing with the aftermath of Brexit and the ongoing challenges to the fishing industry as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Responses to the consultation have now been published and can be viewed at the link below.
*or 35% of the Article 3(a) area of the previous SSI
View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.
Since 2001, a specific area in the Firth of Clyde has been closed to fishing each year between 14 February and 30 April, in order to protect spawning cod. The Scottish Government has responsibility for the closure via a Scottish Statutory Instrument (SSI). Exemptions have always been provided for Norway lobster trawlers, creels and scallop dredgers due to the low amounts of cod that they catch.
This consultation seeks your views on continuing the closure in 2022 and 2023, including the exemptions previously provided.
Consultation is an essential part of policy making. It gives us the opportunity to seek views, knowledge and expertise from a wide range of people. This is important to allow us to consider all view points and make an informed decision on future policy.
Firth of Clyde cod spawning closure for 2022/23 - Scottish Government - Citizen Space (consult.gov.scot)
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.