Something for seafood lovers to chew over

17 Feb 2009 5 person/people have discussed this topic.

scallop-boatScallop dredging is a contentious issue and one which triggered passionate debate at the SAC Liaison Group in December, following a large increase in the activity. Scalloping is acknowledged to be one of the most destructive forms of fishing; with heavy gear scraped along the seabed there is the potential for damage to sensitive habitats and other animals in the way.

There are national restrictions and local closed areas (see below) but around two thirds of the SAC is open to scalloping. Although the main aim of Cardigan Bay SAC is to ensure that its wildlife is protected, the area is used for a wide range of activities including commercial fishing. Such legitimate use of the site is encouraged, providing that it doesn’t harm the designated wildlife or habitats. The key question for managers is “is the scalloping likely to cause damage to the designated wildlife?” There are no easy answers – we have very little information about the offshore reefs and sandbanks and the ecological connection between scalloping and dolphins and seals is very complex. More research into the protected habitats is certainly needed and while there are good catches of scallops to be had, the debate looks set to continue. Have your say here.click to enlarge

Links:
North Western and North Wales Sea Fisheries Committee
South Wales Sea Fisheries Committee
BBC news article

5 Comments

Lorraine Hill  on February 26th, 2009

If huge tractors dragging harrows went into a beautiful bluebell wood which was an SSSI and turned it over there would be outrage.

This is what the big commercial scallop boats are doing to the SAC.

It must be stopped. No ifs or buts.

Juliet Owen  on March 12th, 2009

It would make more sense to me if scallop dredging was banned until the research has been completed as it appears to be such a destructive form of fishing and a great threat to wildlife.

mark roberts  on April 2nd, 2009

Well i must say,someone has taken a good picture of my boat here!
IF I may quote from the above piece “the key question for managers is”IS scalloping likely to cause damage to’designated wildlife’?”
Perhaps a more revealing question would be “HAS scalloping caused damage to ‘designated wildlife’?
The answer is ofcourse no,scallop fishing has been carried out in Cardigan Bay since the early 80’s-long before any wildlife was ‘designated’,yet wildlife and scallops are still in healthy abundance.
The point being missed in all this recently whipped up hysteria is that scalloping in Cardigan Bay isn’t a new phenomenom,many of us have been fishing sustainably and responsibly on scallop beds in the bay for over a quarter of a century!
So all of you environmentalist boys and girls,take with a pinch of salt what these so called ‘experts in this and consultants in the other’ tell you – if scalloping was as harmful as you’d have believe,the bay and its wildlife would have been destroyed years ago,and we’d be out of work!-we depend on a healthy marine environment as much as seals and dolphins and other marine life!
yours sincerely
Mark
Fishing Vessel Harmoni
Nefyn

Alwyn Jones  on April 9th, 2009

All scallop beds should be opened to fishing, and properly managed, not like they are missmanaged now,all other areas could then be closed so the fisheries could remain viable on the managed beds, and not have to keep looking for new areas as known grounds are lost on ‘dubious science’ and emotions.No if’s or Buts!!!!!

andy hall  on November 3rd, 2010

cracking photo mark “KEEP ON FISHING”