The Scottish government is holding a consultation regarding proposed management plans for the Luce Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC); it is based on various recommendations put forward by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). The consultation closes Thursday 15 September 2011.
The intention of the Plan is to manage commercial fishing in a way which ensures the protection of the features for which the site has been designated, while at the same time exploring whether there is a need to restrict Scallop Dredging and other mobile gear from certain areas of the bay.
SSACN has been campaigning for five years for areas to be set aside from damaging commercial exploitation to allow stocks and habitats to recover.
We will be putting together a response to the consultation and our input will be based on a number of considerations including:
- The Government’s economic study showed Luce Bay to be the most popular region for sea anglers visiting Scotland and a major contributor to the region’s economics
- The potential for sea angling in the region to be even further developed if suitable stocks of fish are available.
- Concern regarding the impact of scallop dredgers.
- Support of the local static gear commercial fishing sector.
- SNH stated in their 2006 Luce Bay and Sands SAC Advice under Regulation 33(2) of The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 that Luce Bay is a nursery ground for commercially important fish and it is rare to catch an adult specimen of many of those species today.
- Is the Scottish Government failing in its duties with respect to the Luce Bay SAC as it is designated under the EC Habitats Directive?
We are also encouraging Members and other interested anglers to send in an individual response; see this page for details on how to respond to this consultation.