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Petitions to the Scottish Parliament


James A Mackie <[log in to unmask]>


Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>


Thu, 15 Jun 2000 00:53:49 +0100





text/plain (1 lines)

Subject: Petitions to Scottish Parliament

Attached are three Petitions lodged today with the Scottish Parliament. The
Forth Fishery Conservation Trust was set up in 1987 in answer to the blatant
illegal drift net fishery that operated in the Forth Estuary between
Grangemouth and Stirling. In its first year of operation the Trust, in
partnership with the Forth District Salmon Fishery Board recovered almost
400 illegal drift nets and 40 boats. That work was done with the help of
two high speed power boats bought by the Trust with 11,000 raised from
public donations. In the years immediately following the formation of the
Trust, salmon numbers in the Forth River system increased 10 fold but in the
past 5 to 6 years there has been a steady decline in numbers despite the
fact that there are few licensed salmon fishermen now operating. Over the
same period there has been a marked increase in the number of non-commercial
boats using bag nets to catch sprats and "whitebait" in the Upper Estuary.
These boats are indiscriminate in their catch of juvenile fish. Some
regularly fish as far upstream at Stirling where there Boom nets occupy
almost 2/3rds of the width of the River. These boats are not fishing
commercial but for personal use. This can only be extremely harmful to sea
fish stocks as well as the food chain of over wintering sea birds and
migrating salmonids. Seals are a major problem and have been seen on the
Blair Drummond beats which are two to three miles up stream of Stirling.
Seal numbers are particularly high in the North of Scotland and the Islands,
along the route migratory fish take at sea. This in combination with
unlicensed non-commercial nets are believed, along with other influences, to
be having an adverse impact on salmon and sea trout stocks in Scotland.
Approaches to the Sea Fishery Authorities, the Scottish Office and John Home
Robertson, Minister for Fisheries have all been ignored. Hopefully the
Scottish Parliament will now examine these key issues affecting fish stocks.
Further information from Jim Mackie, Founder Member and Trustee, Forth
Fishery Conservation Trust, PO Box 14771, Alloa, Clacks. FK10 2EW Tel.
01259 215136 Fax 01259 211053.

  Jamie McGrigor Scottish Conservative Spokesman for Fisheries in the
Scottish Parliament today welcomed the three petitions submitted to the
Parliament by the Forth Fishery Conservation Trust. "These are good
petitions covering topical points which are being discussed on a daily basis
by those people desperately worried about fish stocks. Something must be
done to halt the decline, particularly in wild salmon and sea trout stocks.
The Forth Estuary is a good example of what is happening nation-wide. It's
not just the west coast which is suffering, said McGrigor, "Scottish wild
fish stocks are disappearing everywhere, and sensible measures must be taken
to reverse this disastrous decline. This resource must be preserved for
future Scots and to have any sort of fishery it is necessary to have a
healthy surplus of fish. The points made in these petitions, if
implemented, would go a long way towards that end."

Petition to the Scottish Parliament

By the Forth Fishery Conservation Trust per
James A Mackie, PO Box 14771, Alloa, Clackmannanshire, FK10 2EW
To consider a ban on all net fishing other than for salmon and eels in the
Upper Forth Estuary.
Petition to the Scottish Parliament

By the Forth Fishery Conservation Trust per
James A Mackie, PO Box 14771, Alloa, Clackmannanshire, FK10 2EW
To set up a Seal Commission on similar lines to the Red Deer Commission to
monitor the seal population, to ensure its well being and to monitor the
effect seals have on migratory and non migratory fish stocks.

Petition to the Scottish Parliament

By the Forth Fishery Conservation Trust per
James A Mackie, PO Box 14771, Alloa, Clackmannanshire, FK10 2EW
To investigate the effects of unregistered, non commercial net fishing on
sea fish and migratory fish in Scottish waters and if necessary to ban such
activities as a step towards protecting fragile fish stocks.

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