What happened in Loch Carron exemplifies a fundamental problem with the way we manage our inshore fisheries. How can we move forward?
This month a scallop dredger working along the west coast of Scotland, to the east of Skye and intermittently transmitting from its Automatic Information Service (AIS) transponder, entered Loch Carron. The vessel was observed in the sea loch – by several witnesses – towing around the area known to hold fragile and productive flame shell beds (we have spoken to several of these people directly). The flame shell reefs were well-known to many, and local fishermen attest that they hadn’t been dredged for at least 10 years, perhaps 15 or 20.
A squad of dedicated divers arrived at the site just a few days later and documented significant and extensive damage to [Read more…]