Scottish Greens have welcomed the removal of exemptions for dredging and trawling in the Firth of Clyde which would have threatened Cod spawning grounds.
For years these exemptions have allowed bottom-trawling and scallop dredging to continue uninterrupted during the closed period designed to allow fish stocks to recover, in stark contrast to other seasonal protections for cod spawning grounds. These exemptions have now been removed.
Commenting, Scottish Greens environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell said:
“Fisheries protection must be led by the science, and its clear that this decision is the right one if we are to recover cod populations and protect our environment.
"For too long fish stocks have been allowed to decline and destructive practices like trawling and dredging have been allowed to cause damage in an area that is supposedly closed during the spawning season for the benefit of cod conservation.
“We still need to do so much more to recover Cod stocks and secure the sustainable stewardship of our seas. This shift is a small but important first step towards a more sustainable model for fisheries and effective protections and restoration of our marine habitats, in line with the agreement made between the Scottish Greens and Scottish Government.”