What does it say about us if we do nothing? Those were the words that Alistair Sinclair of the Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation said recently referring to the tragic loss of marine ecosystems as a result of dredging on an industrial scale in our inshore waters often in the most important nursery and spawn grounds.
First Minister, Can you, will you take courage and do what we all know, deep down in our hearts and bones, is right? A child could see the common sense logic that damaging the ecosystem will lead to future tears. Yet for some reason, jobs, and more “stuff’ and our “rights” to eat anything we want with instant gratification presupposes common sense needs to go out the window.
Readers please open the link below to see the appeal to the First Minister and the suggestions outlined for the restoration of our seas. Sent by over 40 marine groups including Creel and dive Fishing leaders to the First Minister in response to the disgraceful vandalism of the illegal dredging incidents in Protected Areas.
Just before Christmas, the call went out to all those along the coast who were already connected by a deep conviction that our seas, fisheries and ecosystems are being mismanaged. Benefiting not the ordinary folk on the Coast but big business. Nothing wrong with big business except when it thinks profit is above people and planet. The call was to gather in Oban to decide on the collective response to the illegal dredging incidents occurring within the small areas of sea that have been protected. The concern was also about legal dredging too, as vast areas of the seabed are being made into a wastelands before we have even mapped what species are there.
The collective response was tremendous. A large group of committed people gathered from all across the coastline despite the cold, dark and late night travelling… Out of this Oban meeting on the 5th of December an astonishing group of over 40 Fishing and Community groups supported by NGOs worked collectively to write a letter to the First Minister asking for the kind of change which would turn the situation around.
In Wester Ross alone the largest flame shell bed in the world was unknown until a dredger legally ‘ploughing’ through Loch Carron sent alarm bells ringing and a few divers went to have a look. Next it was reported that illegal dredging destroyed a maerl bed which had recently been the site chosen by herring to spawn. Only a few months before this had been filmed by scallop divers in huge excitement at the discovery of this vast spawning area and the hope of a restoration of this fishery.
A large network of people, has formed over the last 4 years and have become connected by a common feeling that it was impossible to watch the destruction of our marine ecosystems and do nothing. Please join us. It is urgent to act and act soon.
See for yourself with this film The Wastelands in the Sea by a Scallop Diver