Anglers Lead the Way
30th June, 2011At the end of last week, just ahead of Sharkatag, Fisheries Secretary Lochhead, announced the Scottish Government’s intention to introduce a shark and skate protection order which will prohibit the retention and commercial landing of inshore species such as tope, porbeagle, spurdog, common skate and blackmouth catshark as well as many of the less well known species like the greenland shark and smooth lanternshark.
But it will allow recreational sea anglers to continue to fish for them on a ’catch and release basis’.
This is thanks to all the volunteers who have put so much effort into tagging over the last 20 years or so, the findings of the Radford economic study and a load of effort by various bodies spent educating politicians, NGOs and a variety of Quangos.
That effort showed to many who were not aware, that anglers can fish for those species without impacting stocks and that the recreational ’shark’ fishery makes a significant contribution of around £60 million/yr to the Scottish economy (which is more than the commercial shark sector ever did).
This is a positive move by the Government which recognises that there are issues with the stocks and that steps need to be taken. It also recognises that anglers fishing catch and release are not a principle threat to stocks.
SSACN through the SSTP and the tagging Events will continue to gather the data necessary to ensure the future of our shark stocks and the anglers right to fish for them. I would like to thank all concerned for your terrific support.