Fisheries Management Plan Announced for the Clyde
A new creel fisheries management program has come into being on 1st September 2022 to help tackle a range of growing issues which have been facing Clyde fishers for a number of years.
Devised and proposed by representatives from the Clyde Fishermen’s Association, and enabled through the West Coast Regional Inshore Fisheries Group (WCRIFG), this voluntary program is designed to:
a/. Help improve catch per unit effort rates,
b/. Help reduce gear conflict.
c/. Help improve health and safety at sea.
d/. Encourage the fishers to take greater responsibility in the management of the marine environment they work in.
The program will be piloted for an initial period of three years covering the entire Firth of Clyde taking in points from the Mull of Kintyre to Corsewall Point and Loch Ryan.
The Scottish Government has welcomed the initiative and will be kept updated of the progress being made to help inform future management.
There will be restrictions on the total number of creels or pots each vessel can work, depending on size of the vessel. This will allow for greater sustainability for the shellfish stocks as well as for the fishers and the coastal communities that rely on the fishing industry.
In the future it is intended that the project will include tagging for each creel and pot with the vessel’s details as a means of identification. This project will learn lessons from the Outer Hebrides Pilot scheme in terms of the trailing of further technological developments including vessel tracking designed to help in further management and safety at sea. There is scope within the program for science-based scoping to gather more precise information of stocks and other species.
Simon Macdonald, Chairman of WCRIFG said: “There has been a need for this program for a number of years, and I am delighted to see the enthusiasm and determination being shown by the Clyde fishers and CFA to see this program come to fruition and to drive it forward for the betterment of our fishing industry.”
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.