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477 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know many folks are heartily sick of conservation. I don't blame you.

But please would you take a bout five minutes out of your life to try and make a real difference to the fate of sea angling on the west coast of Scotland.

For several years a commercial longliner registered in Grimsby has been targetting the spurdogs in the sea lochs and sounds around the west coast. He targets theses areas because they are the areas that the big females come to to pup.

Rather than take fish elsewhere he targets these slow growing slow maturing fish at the one time they really really need to be left alone. The time when they are reproducing. Fair enough the commercials need to make a living, but through sheer laziness he would rather take fish when breeding than when they have finished. Is that fair?

If you share my disgust with this would you please contact your MSP, your lsts MSP's, your MP, and your MEP's.

It isn't half as bad as it sounds.

click on this link

Enter your postcode, and it will take you to a page with links to all your elected representatives.

Write a letter once (it is best if you write your own, they get more response than a standard letter - but I'll include a letter later for if you really acn't be bothered to write your own :) )

There are links on the page to your MSP - it'll give you a name and party, click that one. There will be another link saying Write to all your MSP's, click that one, the same for MP's and MSP's.

Fill in the details and paste in the letter you have written, you'll also need to confirm by clicking a link in the emails they'll send you.

In total it should take no more than about 5 minutes. And may just help to save a very vulnerable population of an endangered species.

This is the letter I wrote:

Could you please ask the appropriate minister / department how much
longer the MFV Apollo, PLN GY36 registered in Grimsby is to be allowed
to fish the Scottish Sea Lochs during the height of the breeding season
for the critically endangered Spurdog.

I reproduce here information taken from the web site of the Shark
Alliance (

Spurdog or spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias)
A slender, white-spotted shark that grows to about three feet long and
travels in schools.
FOUND: Cool, coastal waters worldwide.
STATUS: Critically Endangered in the Northeast Atlantic, Endangered in
the Mediterranean Sea, Vulnerable in the Black Sea and globally.
THREATS: Persistent demand for meat, used for ‘fish and chips’ in
England and as beer-garden snacks in Germany.
COMPLICATING FACTOR: Reproductive females, known to be pregnant for
nearly two years, are targeted by fisheries due to their large size,
leading to serious damage to population structure.

The vessel referred to above has been observed fishing for and catching
spurdogs in Loch Etive, and Loch Sunart and various other locations
around the West Coast of Scotland in recent years, at times when
heavily pregnant females have been present in large numbers. It is
perhaps no coincidence that the quality of angling, particularly for
spurdogs in these Lochs has dropped dramatically since these
observations. With the drop in quality of angling there has been a
marked decrease in the number of anglers fishing in these lochs, and a
consequent decrease in spending by anglers in the area.

I look forward to your early response.
The information in there is worth a read as is the website it links to.

Thank you all very much. Write those letters and who knows your children may one day be able to catch a spurdog, they're a beautiful fish...

876 Posts
ok guys, good thread, have sorted mine letter too, this may be the most prolific boat but how many others are there?
am thinking might draft petition type doc for shop, might catch the attention of none wsf members, this type of thing not only affects the anglers like myself and you guys, the financial effects are felt not only by the tackle dealers, but all the way down the line from tackle shops to the nearest 'greasy spoon' where you might get your coffee and roll & slice, also a certain ammount of revenue is gained in the tourist sector, from b&b's to camp sites & skippers & boats, (remember if you travel from one place to another, you are by definition 'a tourist') maybe some of you guys might be able to persuade your local tackle dealers to follow suite, the more the merrier, if the voice is loud enough someone might take notice.

:fishing1: :fish:

4,474 Posts
I've managed to get 1 reply already

Thank you for your message.

Catherine Stihler's office is currently closed until 14 May due to staff absence on mission.

If your request is urgent please contact our office in Scotland on 00 44 1383 731890.

Gordon Brown is my MP, so he got it, as well as everyone else on the list.

Sent a copy to Lord Haskell too.

266 Posts
Got this reply from list MSP Rob Gibson

"My colleague the local MSP Fergus Ewing will deal with this. I share
your concern if illegal fishing is involved. Rob Gibson"

Well, I never mentioned illegal fishing, so not quite sure if he's read it properly or not, but he will be getting another in a few days.


1,785 Posts
Nope he hasn't read it.

that's the problem he ISN'T doing anything illegal.

everyone needs to get the message across the devastation it causes to the scottish stock which is europes last stronghold. you also need to make sure they are aware by taking local fish and giving NOTHING back they are robbing the locals of your money when you come to angle on a catch & release basis.

i would imagine the SNP would be the best to tackle this from a scottish perspective as they are allowed to be more nationalistic than say labour.
this may be dirty politics but who cares if the end result means anglers from the whole of the uk & europe can come in the winter months and enjoy a day out in the best scenery in the world and catch a few fish into the bargain.

Captain Chaos!
3,694 Posts
Hiya, just got a reply through the post from Margaret Mitchell MSP, scanned it below...:):) Very quick reply too !!! But really nothing new to add to the previous query....:(


4,474 Posts
Got a reply from David Martin.

Dear David George

Thank you for your email concerning the activities of the MFV Apollo. I
suspect that this is an issue that will have to be dealt with by the
Scottish Executive or the UK Government. However, I am consulting with one
of my colleagues in Brussels who is an expert in fishing policy and if there
is anything that can be done at European Union (EU) level I will get back to

Yours sincerely

David Martin MEP

Received a letter from Marlyn Livingstone, my local mp, basically saying that she'll pass this on to the relevant minister.
So, they actually do some work then :D
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