Fishing limit plan ‘puts Clyde trawlers under threat’

Prawns and scallops account for almost all the Clyde's fishing industry.
Prawns and scallops account for almost all the Clyde's fishing industry.

Proposed limits on commercial fishing in the Firth of Clyde are likely to kill off most of the area’s trawling fleet, an industry body has warned.

The Clyde Fishermen’s Association (CFA) is campaigning against a proposal to limit trawling for the prawns and scallops which form the backbone of the Firth fishing industry.

The Sustainable Inshore Fisheries Trust (SIFT) has recommended to the Scottish Government that a ‘regulating order’ be introduced which would ban fishing altogether in ten ‘restoration zones’ and ban trawling for prawns and scallops in another six.

But CFA secretary Elaine Whyte said: “If the proposed regulating order is put into effect, we reckon that the vast majority of Clyde fishermen will go out of business within a year and a half.”

SIFT director Charles Millar said: “Our proposal is the only way to help the shellfishery whilst also bringing back commercial stocks of finfish.

“The economic consequences of continued inaction are stark. We hope the proposed regulating order will be approved.”

SIFT’s proposals can be viewed by clicking here - a map showing the affected areas is on page 9 of the document.

* More detail on how the proposal might affect what’s left of Bute’s fishing fleet in this week’s issue of The Buteman - on sale from Thursday, January 14.