In 2011, we asked a number of people across a broad range of interests to give their views on any aspect of the state of Scotland’s marine environment in the hope they would provoke some alternative thinking regarding inshore management or just simply show how sea angling has a part to play in delivering a greener, fairer, wealthier, healthier and inclusive Scotland. They can be found here.
Now, 5 years on, we have repeated the activity, mostly with the same contributors and their articles can be found here, note, all articles are as provided by the authors and no content has been ‘edited’ by SSACN.
In 2011, the overall conclusion therefore was that without new management thinking by the Scottish Government, sea angling in Scotland would continue to be ignored, its economic contribution of £150 million per year would dwindle and Scotland would have squandered a terrific natural resource and sacrificed a long term economic contributor to many fragile coastal economies.
Below we have summarized the change in a number of key areas, it is on a scale of 1 (significant decrease) through 5 (no change) to 10 (significant increase).
Each area is dealt with in further detail on our website.
- Habitat – 5/10 Other than the proposed MPAs, the historical issues of environmental impact, ineffective management and lack of inclusion remain.
- Species and stock levels – 5/10 The east coast has seen some improvement but the west coast situation, especially the Clyde, is still quite dire.
- The recognition of sea angling – 5/10 Great support for SSACN’s Outreach activities by the Government has not been matched by inclusion in policy development or management of the inshore environment.
- Investment – 3/10 The Scottish Government still has no officially documented strategy for the development of sea angling and there is a continued lack of investment – the Scottish Marine Tourism Strategy may ‘kick start’ an improvement but it cannot make significant change in isolation.
- Infrastructure – 3/10 The past 5 years have seen no serious investment in the promotion or development of the overall sea angling infrastructure.
- The overall conclusion for 2016 – 4/10 Though there has been some small progress made in certain areas, a lot more needs to be done to maximise the experience and economic potential of sea angling, especially in the internal and existing tourism sectors, which is important to the economies of coastal communities.
At this point we would like to point out that as we fully expected the depleted state of the Clyde was likely to be one of the issues raised, the Clyde Fishermen’s Association was invited contribute – unfortunately no submission was received.