Fears over impact of “super crabbers” on the Solway Firth Published: 10 June, 2004
Tensions are being created in the Solway Firth over the arrival of a large scale crabber.
Local fishermen, who have smaller vessels, are concerned the newcomer could damage stocks of whelks, lobsters and crabs.
The super crabbers are prevented from fishing within three miles of the Solway Firth on the English side of the Firth and yet are not banned on the Scottish side of the Firth.
Fraser Scott, chair of the Galloway Static
Fishermens Association, said: “The super crabbers arrived for the first time last year and wrecked our
fishing for the season when they fished 100 tons of whelks in two
months. That would normally be what the 20 local fishermen would catch
over the whole year. These industrial boats are stripping the local
area of its resources and leaving us with nothing. It doesnt make any
sense that these boats can come right up to shore on the Scottish side
of the Solway, but they are stopped from going within three miles of the
English side of the firth. It seems to us that England supports its
local sustainable fisheries, while Scotland allows anyone to take as
much as they want. Closure of the two small bays to these boats, as
offered by the Scottish Executive, will not solve our problems as those
bays have already been fished out by the super crabbers. We need a
three-mile exclusion zone around the coastline for boats over 10 metres
– the same as England.
The Scottish Executive is
currently reviewing inshore fisheries but this comes too late for the