Illegal industrial fishing damaging Scotland’s ‘Great Barrier Reef’

On Friday 1st November, Channel 4 News covered the illegal dredging which took place in the Wester Ross Marine Protected Area (MPA) in July this year. For a limited time, you can watch the piece here.

Within the Wester Ross MPA, as well as many others across Scotland – including the South Arran MPA – there are beds of live maerl: “Like a pink miniature coral, it’s an algae forest sheltering millions of baby fish and crustaceans from predators. A powerhouse of biodiversity.” Many maerl beds around Scotland are protected by law within MPA’s but they are just one of many at risk from unsustainable and illegal fishing within these areas.

Over 40 organisations from across Scotland have recently formed a coalition and are clearly saying that these so called Protected Areas are being plundered by prawn trawling and scallop dredging. The #OurSeas campaign seeks urgent measures to recover the health of Scotland’s seas – including the establishment of management akin to the 3 mile limit, limiting damaging fishing by trawlers and scallop dredgers.