ForArgyll.com: Argyll's online broadsheet.

The fishing industry has been forced to adopt …

Comment posted Tourism industry says ‘Protect marine wildlife to protect our livelihoods’ by Scots Renewables.

The fishing industry has been forced to adopt more sustainable practices. However, it has fought tooth and nail against their introduction – against the quota system, changes in net size or indeed anything else that might reduce its profits.

Sadly practices such as bottom trawling and scallop dredging are still reducing large areas of seabed to a lifeless desert.

Public pressure from media figures such as Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearley Whittingstall have now resulted in such public disquiet over the current (ludicrous) discard system – so much so that it may now be on the way out – but like other changes in industry practice this will largely have been achieved in spite of the fishing industry rather than because of it.

I do realise that there are exceptions. Indeed, most of the fishing here on Seil is creel fishing, a sustainable and environmentally friendly method. However, with a few exceptions I am afraid that I do not by and large see fishermen as environmental champions. The recent exposure of the massive Peterhead ‘black fish’ scam rather tends to back this negative view.

Scots Renewables also commented

  • I am sorry, but do not believe for a single moment that underwater power generation will not have an effect on any creatures living there. How many whales, porpoises, seals and dolphins may be killed by equipment

    You are obviously someone who makes their mind up on an issue with no evidence whatsoever and refuses to listen to those who actually know something about it. I am sorry, but it is not a question of belief, it is a question of facts.

    The scale of commercial deployment of wave and tide devices is glacial and any issues that have not been uncovered in the long pre-commercial testing of these devices will become apparent long before widespread deployment on the scale you seem to be imagining occurs.

    Dr. McKenzie has already pointed out that these are slow-moving devices and there is no reason to suspect they present any special hazard to marine life. Meanwhile, any site is subject to meticulous scoping and environmental investigation.

    Why not worry about something real, like the increasing acidification of the oceans, about overfishing, about coral bleaching, about the effect of propellor noise on marine mammals?

    These are all real, but instead you prefer to manufacture a technological demon and ignore the real problems our seas are facing.

  • What is a ‘wavetide’ generator? Really, do you understand anythiong at all about the mechanics of tidal or wave power generation (two very different technologies).

    Are you aware that Marine Current Turbines have operated a full scale (1.2MW) tidal generator in Strangford narrows for four years now with no apparent adverse effects on the marine environment? SeaGen has been licensed to operate over a period of 5 years, during which a comprehensive environmental monitoring program to determine the precise impact on the marine environment is running.

    Meanwhile at EMEC in Orkney many different types of tidaland wave generator have been running for years. The technology is being thoroughly assessed and the environmental effects monitored.
    As for offshore wind – there are thousands of offshore wind turbines operating round the world, and not a hint of any damage to the marine environment.

    No marine energy technologies can be deployed without a thorough environmental assessment, usually runnign to years and more comprehensive than any similar assessment ever carried out on previous technologies.

    You have created a bogeyman in your mind. There are plenty of genuine threats to the ocean, including overfishing, chemical pollution, plastic litter, acidification, temperature rise, accoustic pollution from shipping – to name just a few.

    Marine energy generation devices however have so far been demonstrated to be an almost completely benign technology. They are part of the solution, not part of the problem.

  • John,

    I most emphatically do NOT stereotype all fishermen. As I already said, I have no problem at all with the local creel fishery,and know several people who work in it. I also realise that very recently the industry has taken some large steps towards greater sustainability.

    Demonising any particular industry is futile and counterproductive. It is essential that fishermen have an input and a stake in the establishment of MCZs – but for this to happen it has to be acknowledged that sometimes fishing is part of the problem rather than part of the solution. Bottom trawling and dredging are still damaging large swathes of seabed in some areas.

  • ‘One drunk driver’???

    Three large fish factories and 27 skippers pled guilty to schemes to breach EU fishing quotas.
    They landed 170,000 tonnes above their EU quota of mackerel and herring between 2002 and 2005.

    One drunk driver?

    The Loch Torridon creel fishery lost its MCS accreditation because it was unable (or unwilling) to control the number of extra boats attracted to the area. This is no reflection on the fishing method. Responsibly practised creel fishing causes less damage to the marine environment than (eg) trawling or dredging.

    And perhaps you could consider posting a little less agressively – you seem to think that my criticisms of the fishing industry are directed personally at you. Guilty conscience?

  • Was what quoted?

    A lot of nonsense was spoken about nuclear power, including ‘too cheap to meter’.

    Practical research on the effects of a nuclear generation programme – particularly in the days before computer modelling – was practically impossible, so if people did say any such thing then they were speaking rubbish.

    Putting a single mechanical device or a small group of such devices in the water and observing the effects on the marine environment is childs play by comparison. I will be surprised if there are any surprises.

Recent comments by Scots Renewables

  • Russell admits vehicle element of former Dunoon ferry was indeed publicly funded
    A threnody is a song, hymn or poem of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person.

    Quite appropriate. The promise that was the original ForArgyll is indeed quite dead.

    I think I will stick to the Cowal Courier from now on. That’s a proper news site that seems to have your measure.

    Toodle pip!

  • Russell admits vehicle element of former Dunoon ferry was indeed publicly funded
    Oh do cheer up Newsroom! The hybrid ferries are non-military ships being built on the Clyde. Surely something to cheer about?

    Re. your concerns about staff training – I think you will find that staff require retraining whenever a new vessel is brought into service . . . each boat is different.

    And please do stop all this ‘we hear rumours’ rubbish. No-one believes you. Come up with facts and their sources like a real journalist or stop smearing doom and gloom. Less fuel is less fuel. And the new ferries are also designed to have lower maintenance costs.

    Now, here’s some more potential good news on the ship technology front for Scotland . . . CMAL has been commissioned to carry out a feasibility study for Scottish Enterprise to evaluate the technical and commercial possibilities of using hydrogen fuel cells to power zero emission ferries. If this goes ahead it could put Scotland at the forefront of another new technology, with the consequent design, development and manufacturing of hybrid engines being located here. Great news – though I expect ForArgyll will want to talk it down.

  • New Mobile Theme for ForArgyll.com
    The mobile version isn’t triggered by my iPad, which is a good thing – but it does come up in an iPhone emulator I tried.

    Strangely enough specific mobile versions of websites (as opposed to apps – which are here to stay) may be a relatively short-lived phenomenon. As bandwidth on phones increases dramatically and most displays become HD 1024 pixels wide or more so standard websites become more and more useable. I don’t come across many that don’t display well on the iPad.

    A mobile version was far more essential on older 320 pixel devices like Nokias, but these will die out. The non-mobile version of this site (for example) is quite useable on a new smartphone once it is rotated horizontally.

    Apps that do specific things on mobile devices are another matter – they are definitly here to stay. And for blog sites like this the mobile version definitley increases useability (but see below).

    Some feedback – I couldn’t view the comments on the mobile version, but I was using an emulator rather than an actual smartphone. Can other people view and post comments OK on the new mobile site using an iPhone or Andriod phone?

  • Clyde shipyards at risk – news by year end
    Just testing the comments function on the mobile version of the site.

    (Using an online iPhone emulator)

  • Scottish Conservatives underline common ownership of Saltire
    It is Scottish Labour that really needs to up its game dramatically if it wants to keep a credible presense in Holyrood in the 2016 election. What Ruthie and the Scottish Conservative Party do is of little relevance.

    According to Newsnet Scotland a recent poll shows Westminster voting intentions in Scotland as:

    SNP 39%
    Labour 33%
    Conservative 16%
    LibDem 6%
    Others 7%

    If this doesn’t ring alarm bells for Labour nothing will.

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