The SSTP’s Special Events programme shows anglers can make a difference by combining the three elements : sports, science and conservation.
Historically anecdotal evidence suggested several species of shark in Scottish waters required protection from exploitation, but little scientific data regarding their quantity, size, sex, distribution and growth rates was available to support any actions.
SSACN, through the SSTP introduced three tagging events to gather that data and after working alongside scientists from the Scottish Government government, a Special Statutory Instrument (SSI) was introduced in March 2012 which made 26 species of shark in Scottish waters the most protected in Europe whilst still allowing to fish for them on a “Catch and Release” basis.
A terrific result for all those who have provided tagging data.
Well done to all those involved – but we aren’t finished yet !!
This year the Events are:
Celebrating Scotlands Sharks and Scientific Workshop :: Join us on the 10th & 11th of May at Loch Lomond Sea Life Aquarium for a range of exciting, interactive and unforgettable experiences to raise awareness of the wide range of sharks in Scotland and the challenges they are facing. From 30ft inflatable sharks, egg case hunts and presentations to an introduction to ground breaking Scottish research and crafts and puzzles for children of all ages!
The Sharkatag weekend :: This Event operates from four main centres …… Drummore, Sandhead, Isle of Whithorn & Brighouse Bay at Kirkudbright and takes place around mid-summer from marks around the Solway and SW Scotland with the focus on tagging tope, smoothound and collecting data on other shark species.
The Skate Recapture weekend :: Originally an Easter event, this is run over quite a wide area, mainly centered around Crinan, Oban and Loch Aline where it is believed that the skate populations are largely resident. This event evolved from the Skate Tagathon.
Species Hunt :: This year the Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network (SSACN) will be holding its 2nd species hunt at Luce Bay and Port Logan on Saturday the 16th of August. The aim of this event is to spread our FishSmart initiative to encourage anglers to measure their catch rather than weigh it and calculate weights using SSACN graphs.
NEW !!!! Measure Up With SSACN :: Held at the end of August – details to be added.
Weight estimation based on a fish’s length offers a credible alternative to physically weighing them and helps reduce any potential damage. This year’s “Measure up with SSACN” day will be based in south west Scotland. It will comprise of a species hunt with the emphasis on a fun day with a social and prize giving night to follow (the biggest fish of any species won’t necessarily win the biggest prize). Read more here.
Read how it all came about.
Just click on the image.
By taking part in our “Special Events”, you will be helping both our current efforts aimed at shark conservation and our longer term objectives targeted at the wider regeneration of Scotland’s inshore fish stocks.
To give you an idea of the issue, the following shows the extent to which common skate were distributed in European waters – there are only a few refuge populations left now.