Consultation on Fisheries Management in Luce Bay Special Area of Conservation

29th September 2011

LINK strongly believes the creation of an ecologically coherent network of well-managed marine protected areas, including European protected sites and Nature Conservation MPAs, is essential to address these concerns, helping to protect and recover the health of our seas. The successful management of SACs, including Luce Bay, is crucial to the creation of an ecologically coherent network of MPAs, as required under national and international obligations.  We strongly support SNH’s recommended management approach, and believe it is essential that mobile fishing gear is prohibited in the areas of the Bay identified in the consultation as ‘most’ sensitive and ‘moderately’ sensitive.  Further, we believe it may also be appropriate to prohibit fishing with mobile gear within the ‘least’ sensitive sites. While the sensitivity of subtidal sandbanks varies, and their capacity to recover is higher than reef structures, there is evidence that trawling reduces structural complexity in the habitat with consequential decrease in biodiversity .

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