Changes to the marine ecosystem
in the Firth of Clyde

Ruth Thurstan has detailed the changes in the Firth of Clyde marine ecosystem since the 1850s, where she highlighted the importance of the Firth of Clyde needing to be managed as a complex ecosystem and not for the benefit of a few species. In this paper, Thurstan builds a picture of the changes to the Firth of Clyde marine ecosystem in an attempt to determine the causes and magnitude of change. The research and subsequent results confirm that people’s actions have ramifications that extend further than just the target animals and that marine species must be protected before baselines shift again. 

This detailed thesis served as a prelim to the 2010 paper, “Ecological Meltdown in the Firth of Clyde“.

The images above are from side-scan sonar surveys in 2004, of the then proposed No Take Zone in Lamlash Bay. They were conducted by the RV Aora from Millport Marine Biological station and clearly show the extent of dredging occurring on the seabed.