Clyde cod spawning closure
Areas of the Firth of Clyde have been closed for all fishing between 14 February and 30 April in 2022 and 2023, to protect cod during their spawning season.
For the past 20 years, an area of the Clyde supposedly closed to fishing to protect spawning cod had been subject to exemptions which allowed bottom-trawling and scallop dredging to continue operating in the area. We were therefore delighted to hear Ministers announcing a removal of those exemptions in a bid to promote cod recovery, however, concerned that they also banned low-impact fisheries such as creel fishing and hand-diving.
Following a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, the Scottish Government took the strange step to u-turn entirely on their plans, in a bid to appease mobile fishing interests. Changes to the closure now favour mobile fishing and reduce the size of the closure by 28%. More worringly, these decision have been taken without public consultation.
The Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs Islands & Natural Environment is currently scrutinising the decision follwowing an evidence call.