For this edition we have a new Editor – Julie Hope – who joined us just recently as our new SSTP Project Coordinator – download it here.
This last quarter has seen a major change in the political position regarding sharks with Fisheries Minister Lochhead recognising that protecting vulnerable marine species is crucially important and that some shark, skate and ray populations are critically endangered; something anglers have been trying to tell politicians and fisheries managers for years – but perhaps better late than never !
As usual, Sharkatag proved to be very popular event, with participants coming from all over the UK, although the weather conspired against us and the Sunday was lost to most boats.
Once again we saw a downturn (around 50% again) in the numbers of tope tagged and though there is insufficient data at the moment to advance any particular theory as to why this is so, the trend is very worrying and highlights the value of the Events, the SSTP programme and the need for increased levels of research.
The last three months have also seen a number of significant catches – including probably the largest ever smoothhound caught in Scottish waters, an uncommon skate, a mix of interesting recaptures and a special day for three anglers.
The next few months will be very challenging – and as always, we are on the lookout for help. If you have a particular skill or even just a few hours a month to spare, you would be very welcome – just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.