HAVE YOUR SAY

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

As a UK resident, the Firth of Clyde fishery belongs to you. We therefore think it’s very important that you have a say. Please let us know what the decline of the Firth of Clyde means to you. We’ll publish these on the website, unless you check the box saying you don’t want it published.


“In answer to Graham McNair’s questions about juvenile fish. A couple of years ago I was discussing the Clyde with my late friend Prof. Laurence Mee, then Director of the Scottish Assn. for Marine Science. We came to the conclusion that the current biomass in the Clyde is nearly identical to that of the previous decades since data was available. However the species structure has altered. Where cod were once dominant it is now whiting. Also age and size distribution has also changed. If the large members of a species are heavily culled leaving only smaller specimens, these smaller specimens will breed earlier, breeding smaller offspring. An analogy can be drawn with say a shepherd selling his biggest ewes and rams leaving only smaller ewes to breed– outcome is smaller sheep even on the same grazing.
Back in the late sixties there were lots of small, undersize whiting in the Clyde. However pair trawling for herring did a lot of damage to this stock of juveniles. In one incident the MOD police boat found a mile long slick of these floating at the mouth of Loch Long.
Some of my happiest times were on the Clyde, whether commercial fishing or out with anglers, hopefully these days can return.”


- Eric McVicar
1 year, 7 months

“In the 70s I fished from boats at Largs or from the shore at Portencross with great results since the 3 mile limit was dropped the fishing has all but finished re-introduce the 3 mile limit to allow the clyde to recover”


- Billy Borthwick
1 year, 7 months

“As a Sea Angler, I don’t think the problem in the Clyde is a lack of fish ….It’s just the size of the fish. During the Summer I fished reglarly down at Custom House Quay, Greenock – At times the water was alive with fish -Species caught over the Summer were Cod, Pollack, Coalfish, Mackeral, Wrasse (Various species) Haddock, Dragonets, Dabs etc.

But the fish were all palm sized – The same thing has been happening over the past few years – So the questions I have to ask are (1) Where are the spawning fish coming from that are creating all these juvenile fish ? (2) Why do these juvenile fish never seem to grow any bigger ? I can only think that once these small fish get a bit larger they move further offshore for better feeding – Most probably into deeper water, over soft ground to feed on Prawns / Shrimps etc and are then caught and discarded by the Prawn boats. “”


- Graham McNair
1 year, 8 months

“In 1978 I sold my boat Endeavour TT2 and went to work in the oil industry. My reason was that as a great-line fisher in the summer and cod netter in the winter I could see the imminent destruction of what was a very productive fishery. We worked six to eight inch mesh and never had discards. On our lines we worked 8/0 hooks, never had discards, nor did we destroy the seabed. A very different story from the trawlers and scallopers. For many years I took out anglers, as did others including trawlermen, but greed was what really finished the Clyde.

I now lecture in sustainable ecology, mainly in Norway, Greenland and Canada. All places where the lesson of overfishing by destructive methods has been learned the hard way but resolved by going back to basic line and net fishing with static gear.
The only way forward is in effect to go backward. I occasionally lecture to students at the Scottish Assn. for Marine Science UHI near Oban and show them what fishing in our inshore waters once was. Line and Net fishing is not the back breaking job it was in my young day so we could return there.

Marine protected zones work well in New Zealand and could work well here if we can find politicians who don’t resemble a filleted fish — Spineless and Gutless.
Back in the Seventies I asked the sea anglers to back me in fighting against inshore trawling in the Clyde but met little enthusiasm as many of them went out sea angling at weekends on trawlers from Rothesay and Loch Long.
Maybe now they see it differently.”


- Eric McVicar
1 year, 8 months

“”I grew up in Govan on fish and chips, and later I became a conservationist and nature reserve owner, as I witnessed the threats to our marine environment, and to the wildlife on shore. It is a disgrace we have let the fishing industry almost destroy the stocks of certain fish. Today, people can access information faster than ever before, therefore, what is going wrong in the natural world hits us quicker than before. We should all be part of the process to restore the seas to a healthy and productive state, to be used sustainably and humanely, for the present and future generations to come.””


- Mr Greer Hart, senior
1 year, 8 months

“It’s about time that something was done to bring the Clyde back to it’s former self, when it was worth while as a recreational angler to cast a line on the river. That was before it was devastated by commercial trawlers and dredgers killing almost everything on the sea bed, making it all but uninhabitable for most of the fish that used to thrive there.
We must now take a leaf from Norway, Sweden and Iceland’s books where the management of their rivers and coast are strictly managed to maintain fish stocks at very high levels. which also encourages tourists, creates jobs for many rather than the few. As well as the fish life the plant life will also benefit from proper managemet of the Clyde which is to everyones benefit.”


- Gerard Stirling
1 year, 9 months

“As a young lad in the 70s I used to travel to the Isle of Arran and fish from boat and shore. The fishing was superb with cod, haddock and plaice a plenty until 1985. That year I fished and caught nothing but undersized dabs and mackerel. The 3 mile limit was gone along with the fish. Nothing to do with seals just greed restore 3 mile limit – ban all trawling ASAP”


- John Allanson - Elgin, Moray
1 year, 9 months

“On Weds 7th Oct 2015 there were fourteen commercial trawler/fishing boats out in the bay around Culzean Castle & Fisherton – and again later in the week. A shocking number – all apparently after prawns and scallops – using small nets and dragging the bottom. How much damage is being caused to the fragile sea bed? The diverse big fish have all but gone – sport fishing now is really a struggle around here. If the final crustacean food source is taken away the Clyde will end up like a total barren waste land. We have all created this, and every one of us has a responsibility to look after our living environment carefully. It is ours to borrow not to own. No one in UK Govt has bothered to preserve our sea limits. We are an Island surrounded by sea. Fishing should be our number one industry together with farming. What legacy are we leaving our children? We need to think very carefully about how we can protect and nurture our UK fish stocks and the arable environment to feed our ever huge population increase.”


- Janie
1 year, 9 months

“I used to love fishing off Gourock and the custom house in Greenock for years but lately the fishing is really so bad your lucky if even in the mackerel season to catch. Many years back I used to go home with maybe 30 to 50 mackerel sharing them out among family and friends now your lucky to catch half a dozen”


- Mr R. Spence
1 year, 9 months

“I too am one of the Ayrshire McCrindles that had the Silver Crest and Aliped fleet which is no more. I used to remember Ayr harbour full of fishing boats, men repairing nets next to the fish market. I used to spend hours watching crates of good sized, healthy fish coming off the boats and the amazing speed of the auctions where I had no idea what the auctioneer was saying because he was talking so fast. The smell of the fish, tons of ice from the ice-house, rust on everything that floated and wooly jumpers and oilskins on everything that walked.

My family heritage has gone along with the boats, the ice-house, the market, the nets and the fish.
I support revive the Clyde despite knowing we’ll never see the likes again. It brings a heavy heart and I can only imagine a fraction of the heartache my father and the rest of the family and other fishing families must feel at the loss of such an industry and culture.

I can only hope that common sense will prevail and allow at least some revival of the glorious fleet that fished the Clyde.”


- Kevin Hugh McCrindle, son of Hugh Andrew McCrindle and the McCrindles of Ayrshire
1 year, 9 months

“We still see the odd trawler ploughing up and down the Clyde. A ban on inshore trawling would give the inshore breeding grounds a chance to recuperate. The ban on inshore trawling should cover all size of vessels not just the larger ones. “


- David Halliday
1 year, 9 months

“I am not trying to be a public speaker but I have now been fishing for about 50 yrs so feel qualified to speak out regarding our local fishery (The Clyde). As a young boy my fishing was restricted to family day trips out to Saltcoats and Ayr with no family car we travelled by train and hoped I could get on a day boat. As there were so many I managed it most times and in 1974 out of Salcoats I caught a 13lb cod from an old open wooden boat for the cost of £1.50 per trip. I also caught many just under DOUBLE FIGURES from the first MARION B boat owned by Tony Medina in Ayr bay a couple of miles out. I was then lucky to have a friend of my uncle called Rab Grainger take me shore fishing at Portincaple most weekends or from the Gourock boats as part of a works trip.

The places were alive with fishermen looking forward to another successful trip. Cod after cod, some whiting, flatties, conger . I now feel guilty AS I THOUGHT IT WOULD NEVER END. I became a small boat owner fished from Clynder to Inverkip trying to relive the past but it was getting harder as years went on . I am sure many of you can relate to all the above. I have wanted to know for years what divers would find on the sea bed of the Clyde and now we are told it is a barren version of a ploughed field. Nature is trying its best to help and it is amazing how quickly the situation can change if we stop interfering and causing an imbalance as there are signs of fish being caught and returned when possible so all commercial fishing must stop now and allow cod to reach maturity to breed and generate future stocks.other areas like the Mersey have excellent shore and boat fishing with charter boats for hire.

We are the biggest sport or hobbie available to man but how many young kids will have a fishing rod on their xmas list this year.It is our sport our clyde we need to stop looking to blame some one or global warming for it we simply thought it would always be there. We should have more fishing clubs,tackle shops with live bait for sale and other busineses thriving from the number of anglers who spend a lot of money on travelling to enjoy our sport I hope it recover to even a small level of its former self where you would see images of the old Falkirk sea anglers bus passing you on the road down or 2 charter boats sailing from Clynder and returning with anglers grinning from ear to ear dying for a beer to celebrate their latest day out. I am now the owner of a small zodiac inflatable and will once again try to relive the excitement of days gone by. The excitement of the clyde coming into view when travelling down the m8 or the view over the Erskine bridge which still makes me grin and wonder WHAT IS IN THERE. “


- Alex Reed
1 year, 10 months

I have brilliant memories of spending many days fishing with friends as a lad in the late 70′s. We fished with many people who came from afar into the area which must have been good for the local economy. I also recall 100′s of people attending the European cod festival from Gourock in I think 1979 ( I came 4th!). Let me know what to do to help.”


- Andy Creedon
1 year, 10 months

“The rivers and loch fishing has no been good since they stopped the Dalmarnock and Sheildhall waste boats from dumping off the Cumbrae. This area produced big fish because of the feeding of the waste”


- gordon mair
1 year, 10 months

“Unfortunately I am living abroad but come home at least once a year. Mainly to see the family but when I’m there theres no keeping me from fishing”


- Craig McDermid
2 years, 1 month

“Aye the fishing was very good in the 60s and 70s then we heard the stories about inshore trawling – we were shocked – spoiling the fishing something rotten. A beautiful country; shore; and people, a shame on the politicians and greed, give the country back to all the people they know best. “


- Brydon Reed
2 years, 1 month

“It’s a sad shame to hear the Clyde suffer with fishing stock my grand father owned a fish shop in Dunoon and for years as a kid. I remember well the fish coming off the boats to the shop. I suggest we take time out and restock Clyde with new fish allowed to mature and hopefully restore the vast supply once again. Inshore waters need to be invested in for future generations. Scotland must stand proud of what great assets it has and make them fully functional once again .”


- Jack Holms MacLeod
2 years, 1 month

“I was born in Govan beside the Clyde. I ate fish suppers from fish caught in the Clyde as a boy during the War and thereafter. As a man, I became an environmentalist, and became dismayed about the bad management of the Clyde and its estuary. We should be creating sustainable fishing ground all over the world, that would provide protein for local communities. I want to see over-fishing and by-catch sorted, along with pollution. A constant public information/education programme should be initiated to ensure that everyone understands the importance of a carefully managed marine environment is to us all, and to future generations.”


- Mr Greer Hart
2 years, 1 month

“Having fished the Clyde for many years when I was in my teens in the early 1980s there was always
great sport to be had and plenty of cod flounder etc. What a great place it was to fish as far
up as langbank cod were in abundance. Having fished the last few years using same bait etc as done in the past -what have they done to this great fishing river? Well the trawlers have fished it to a point that the fish are so scarce and practically non existent .Well now I tell my kids how good it used to be and don’t know if it will ever return to what it was. What have they done to our Clyde – why have government ministers just let this continue.The decline of fishing stocks in the Clyde is so sad – why didn’t someone do something before it got to this point? Maybe this sounds a bit bitter but did trawlers have to fish our Clyde and wipe out fish stocks till it got to this point. People around the world campaign about wildlife and different species but they have cleared out the Clyde without to much of an eyebrow raised. What a tragedy.


- Robert Gray
2 years, 2 months

“Having fished the Clyde estuary at cloch point in the summer months for the last 5 years while down on holiday , it seems to be consistently ok . Species I have caught here are flatfish mackerel and the odd sea trout . “


- Phil . S
2 years, 2 months

“”””so sad but no one is shore fishing because there are no fish to be caught , Ayr pier in the 1970s and early 1980s was alive with fishermen of all ages catching all sorts of species. Over fishing by the trawler men led to the collapse of the fishing. I worked and saw at first hand the landing and sale of illegal undersize fish sent to Spain.
“”””


- Brian Steel
2 years, 2 months

“Having just watching the landward episode on prawn fishing, it is clear to see that we do have a declining stock issue. It is clear to see the Clyde is a barren wasteland, when one looks at their fish finder.
Being a recreational angler myself (that releases 90% of catch alive), a glance at the sonar reveals a flat barren sea bed. There is little life, and finfish nursery habitats have been decimated.
Have a look at the Clyde angling charters, there are NONE! The Clyde was once a prolific cod breeding ground, home to massive fish. The only cod I see from the Clyde measure the length of my pinkie finger.
Wise man once said seeing is believing, and it is clear to see our finfish and shellfish stocks are about to go the way of the dinosaurs.”


- Michael Woo
2 years, 3 months

“”Been out all day today off the Wee Cumbrae and never got as much as a bite. (probably wrong tide and time of year). I will soldier on as last summer give me hope after landing several large cod again off Wee cumbrae. I don’t know if it will ever be as good as it was 30yr ago but i will enjoy trying to find out!!


- David Robson
2 years, 4 months

“A few friends and I have been fishing the Clyde Estuary from Clydebank at the Titan Crane right down to Bowling and beyond to the many sea loch’s. Our catches range from Cod, Eels, Pollack, Sea Trout, Slob Trout, Flat fish, Wrasse and more. In the summer there is rarely a time when we catch nothing, it provides great fishing throughout the summer months. I have lived in Clydebank most of my life and count myself lucky I live near such a place to fish, it is a shame how it deteriorated to such a state, but over the last few yeas it has been bouncing back with a vengeance. So all I will say is it’s not all doom and gloom on the Clyde Estuary, trying to find the best spots is all part of the sport fishing life. Fish can be found in the most unlikely of places, give it a try, whats the worst that can happen?”


- Christopher Meechan
2 years, 5 months

“Once the finest cod fishing anyone could wish for. Great memories of a fish per cast at Newton Shore. It is criminal what has been done in the name of greed. It really is time to close the Clyde to all commercial fishing. Our national heritage is being devastated to put shellfish onto Continental restaurant tables. The Clyde is alive with small fish. Leave nature alone and it can recover.”


- Jim Kirkland
2 years, 5 months

“My Family The McCrindle family of South West Ayrshire have been connected with the Sea Fishing Economy for over 150 years or more.
My brother was the last to make a living at sea but had to quit to provide a steady income for his family.
It makes me sad that this Industry and a healthy fish stock has gone. I hope that this initiative can help the Clyde become a place for fish and man to survive in mutual respect and we can all enjoy the benefits of what is a part of our inherited culture.
Thanks for starting this initiative and I sincerely hope it succeeds in its aims”


- Rosemary ( McCrindle ) Kent
2 years, 7 months

“Re: Howard McCrindle’s comments about 17 years to fish out the demersal species specifically speaking . This is due to the government’54s useless governance of the fishery. This is due to the quota system ( as he knows) which deals in dead fish landed and not dead fish brought aboard . However as an ex fisherman and relation of howard may I propose a different way of controlling the existence of our favourite food species. That is from the bottom up rather than the top down i.e not allowing all types of bottom fishing where the fish lay their eggs and their young need to grow to at least juveniles . After that we must use our pre industrial forebears methods in control to make our fishery last and produce bigger and better fish of more varied species.”


- Sean McCrindle
2 years, 7 months

“Loved my holidays in Ardrossan, my uncle had a boat at Fairlie then later at Largs marina in the 70s/ 80s. It was the best time of my life fishing round little cumbrae. I ask him all the time what the fishing is like now and he says its a waste of time coming up makes me so sad. The biggest lb cod I caught just off hunterston was 26lb – hope to see them times back some day.”


- martin metcalfe tyne and wear
2 years, 7 months

“The Clyde as it is now is at the beginning of a long and treacherous journey back to full health. There are so many different species trying to make a comeback. They are doing so every day, against all odds. We humans are the only species that can help all of them at once by making a concerted effort to change relatively few bad habits. IF we get it right EVERY species will benefit and thrive. The same goes for London’s Thames – when last did you google Thames Sea Trout? Every river in the world can benefit from our combined efforts – all we have to do is decide how much we respect ourselves, and then ask what we can do to help? “


- Mark Minshull - metiefly
2 years, 7 months

“”I spent my childhood fishing of Gourock pier in the late 70s early 80s.The fishing was really good now you can go a whole week without a good fish. No point taking the kids anymore sad “”


- Stevie mclean
2 years, 8 months

“I have fished off Arran since I was 5 some 56 years now from boat and shore and I have experienced the decline in catches. I also have had to move out of the way many times for trawlers when boat fishing, a couple of hours fishing all those years ago brought a good catch of different fish varieties. Now I go out for 6 hours and don’t catch a quarter of what I used too. The biggest change “no trawlers now”which tells me everything I need to know they have ruined it for everyone including themselves. The no catch zone at Lamlash is the way to go for the future of angling . “


- John Johnstone
2 years, 9 months

“I used to fish the Clyde in the late sixties and early seventies and the amount of fish caught was incredible, fish we thought of as small then would be considered a great catch nowadays. Keep up the campaign and let us once again enjoy what the sea can do given a chance and that is regenerate, and as anglers let us never again let the Clyde be so exploited that it becomes barren. “


- Phillip Kent
2 years, 10 months

“Beautiful coastline but sadly devoid of a healthy population of inshore fish. I would visit the Clyde area more often on holiday as a visiting angler if I thought I there was something worth fishing for.”


- Chris Malkin
2 years, 10 months

“Having moved from Kilmarnock to Ayr during my school years I cherish fond memories of Ayr Harbour and the nearby shorelines particularly the Newton.
There was a stark difference between a landlocked town and the new experiences, sights and the smells associated with the Sea.
The bustling Ayr fish market was a spectacular event fuelling the imagination and inspiring the mind as to the diverse range of species which live in the Sea.
An interest in fishing developed locally and progressed to some of the favoured marks along the Clyde Coast for favoured species such as Codling.
It is to be sincerely hoped that this Campaign will make a difference and perhaps once again inspire present and future generations to the wealth and wonders of our shared marine heritage.”


- R. Armour
2 years, 10 months

“Good to see some action being taken to help fish stocks in the Clyde estuary. Still a long way to go. Surely the government could do more to help, not caught fish regularly at places like Portencross or Ayr for ages. Good luck with this.”


- Tommy Rooney
2 years, 10 months

“As a recreational fisherman I used to fish the sea lochs but now not worth the effort. Fishing was all year round and safe for small boats catches were varied. Fishing in Loch Fyne is poor for the last 10 years. I travel from time to time to Carradale to work and my last trip I was appalled to see two trawlers towing nets about 500 yards off the fish farm at Minard very close to their anchor buoys. I thought there was a ban on trawling above Otterferry. These sea lochs should be free from commercial fishing as nurseries to re-stock the Clyde. I appreciate these guys have to make a living but if there is quality stock to catch better market prices for fish caught in a sustainable way everyone will be a winner.”


- Graeme
2 years, 10 months

“This year I have paid out £1,300 to go fishing in Norway, where I know I can catch fish. In the 1960s I used to come to Loch Long, rent a boat, and accommodation, at Rossmay boat hire, but sadly with no fish worth catching in Loch Long I go to Norway. It will take years to bring the fishing in the clyde back to what it was, and in the meantime anglers like my self go to Norway, I will be 73 years of age next year.”


- John J Green snr.
2 years, 10 months

“I was at a Scottish Wildlife Trust talk last night on marine life in the North Sea. The talk was by Sarah Gosden , an Aberdeenshire Council ranger , and everyone in the audience was enthused by Sarah’s photographs taken whilst SCUBA diving, as well as her knowledge. Much of the seabed is ” out of sight out of mind ” but as Sarah pointed out there is more oxygen produced by the plankton of the oceans than by the Amazon rain forest. We need to respect our wonderful environment and not trash it so it’s high time these modern sea-bed destroying methods of fishing are banned and the fishermen revert to more sustainable methods of harvesting the oceans, including the Clyde estuary .”


- Jeremy Hopkins
2 years, 11 months

“I think everyone should think about peoples livelihoods here, now I love sea fishing as much as the next angler but the EU fishing quotas are a joke, the small time fisherman suffered but here we are discussing the fact that we are catching a little less, as mentioned the Clyde fish species is on the rise again so it will get better
REMEMBER ITS A HOBBY FOR YOU AND A WAY OF LIFE FOR THE FISHERMAN
We can’t dictate to them because our hobby is interrupted……..they have to earn a living from the sea, I accept there are some exceptions to the rule but put yourself in their shoes and imagine for a second that its you in their oil skins……how would you feel?”


- Robert
2 years, 11 months

“My name is malky, I own a small Orkney boat that I use to fish the Clyde from Largs to Langbank as I’m from Greenock, I’ve fished the Clyde as a boy of 7 and spent many a day around customhouse key trying to winkle out a fish or two in the seventies and did catch codling, saith, flouders,Pollock and even freshwater eels and remember the huge mackerel shoals making the sprats leap from the water but sadly now this is not the case. I only had my boat a couple of years now and found my catches very poor, I’ve spent time talking to friends who still try and catch something from the Clyde and all the reports are sadly low if not nil, I would like to add that I don’t want to see trawler fishermen out of work as we all have to make a living, but could we not ask the Scottish government to help the trawlermen to change their gear to a more sustainable fishing practise”


- Malcolm McCallum
2 years, 11 months

“I have fond childhood memories of growing up fishing the Clyde in the eighties at places like Bowling Harbour, Erskine Bridge and Rhu Narrows. The fishing could be terrific and we regularly caught good size Codling, Coalies,Conger eels, large Flatfish, Mackerel and even the odd Sea Bass!! It’s an absolute travesty what has happened to fish stocks in the Clyde since due to the commercial over fishing and it is sad that my own children can not grow up with the same experiences and thrill of fishing on the Clyde as myself. Hopefully this will change again in the future.”


- Colin Dymock
2 years, 11 months

“I was lucky to have fished the Clyde in the good old days and it sickens me to see the sad state of it now we need to stop all forms of trawling in the Clyde so that the sea bed can recover anyone who thinks trawling is not to blame for this mess is in denial The Clyde had lots of boats that took anglers out fishing they in turn spent money in the local shops boosting local economy and creating jobs for local people what have we got now ? a few trawlers and a handful of jobs I say enoughs enough the Clyde must be protected bring back the three mile limit and ban the trawlers NOW”


- Jim Miller, Glasgow
2 years, 11 months

“Scenery, proximity and accessibility of the islands by boat, both ferry and own vessels.
Very fond memories of motoring out on summer evenings in the 1970s with the kids trailing hand lines to catch mackerel.”


- Anne Ross Coleman
2 years, 11 months

“As the picture at the top of this page shows, you have to go a long way back to see the smiles of happy line fishermen on the Clyde, holding up full size adult fish. This is going on in our backyard, and we don’t even realise it. I would urge anyone interested in protecting this important natural environment to support Revive The Clyde campaign.”


- Malcolm MacMillan, Firth of Clyde resident
2 years, 11 months

“As a teenager 4-5 of us would escape the schemes and gangs at the weekend and head down to Helensburgh on the blue train. We would then either walk or chap a lift to Rhu and beyond [though we found out the hard way that it was probably going to be a single journey at Coulport once lol] We never caught much but that didn’t matter, we were away in the fresh air away from trouble. I always look back on those days and realise that we were learning to stand on our own two feet, we never made a mess and kept ourselves to ourselves. No drink of course, that would interfere with the fishing!
It is tragic that such a vast expanse of clean water is now so barren. If there are laws in place to prevent trawling then they need to be enforced with the full weight of the law, we MUST find a way to return the Clyde to it’s former glory for those who are to come after us.”


- Andy Brown
2 years, 11 months

“I am a sport fishing tourist from the Netherlands and I would love to visit the Clyde to go fish there, when stocks are revived again”


- Niels Breveacute
2 years, 11 months

“I love that we’re seeing a revival in the diversity of fish stocks in the Clyde. More variety than has been seen for years. It was wonderful last year to see so many basking sharks and even a whale off Carradale. The small number of boats left in Carradale rely on the prawn trawl to make a living. Where would Carradale’s fishermen fit into the plans for the Clyde?”


- Shelagh Cameron
3 years

“I love the river clyde for fishing but the state of the Clyde saltwater fishing is very poor most people travel as far as oban now for a half decent days fishing the trawlers have to be cut down and limitations to where they can fish “


- Alan Colville
3 years

“It’s very, very sad that the fantastic fishing in the Clyde Estuary has been lost. The potential for the Clyde Estuary is huge and we have the chance to change that. Unfortunately, the current style of commercial fishing in the Clyde is totally destructive to the eco-system in the Clyde and it’s time people stand up & take action to reverse this situation before the Clyde is completely sterile of fish (almost at this point now). I know people are still earning a living on the Clyde (shellfish), but they are destroying it for everyone else. The financial potential (from leisure fishing) in the Clyde system is huge and would benefit hundreds, if not thousands, of people rather than just the few (few dozen at most) who profit from the shellfish at present. The Scottish government must take action IMMEDIATELY.


- Stuart McNicol
3 years

“I started my working life as a fisherman in the clyde in 1965 on the fishing vessel Guiding Star…..It was one of the richest places in the world for White Fish,Herrings,Mackerel,Clams,Queen Clams, all sorts of sea bed crustacean’s and plant life…..It was never managed properly and left to the greed of the fisherman to exploit as he wanted to better himself and his family……..The governments and fishery authority’s were responsible for the management of all fishery’s of the time and FAILED.”


- Henry Dougal
3 years

“My name is Michael blaikie I love the Clyde i worked as a share fisherman out of Ayr harbour it was the best job. I have had hard work. But some great fun the first trawler I went on board had a small fo’c’sle I was sitting asking the skipper for a job it was very warm as their was a small coal fire on and it was a bit choppy out side and I was feeling a bit I’ll I spotted what I thought was the sick bowl and asked if I could use it I was told to get up on deck that the glass sweetie jar held his mothers soup another trawler I worked on the silver quist I was being shown around I asked where the toilet was and I was told by the sklpper Tam hay you have 33feet up that side of the boat and33feet down that side”


- Michael blaikie
3 years

“Learned to fish on Loch Long 30 years ago, fishing was great, took my son to same area this year and 8 hours produced one very small cod. A commercial diver mate told me the Clyde area resembles a plowed field!!!”


- Brian Campbell
3 years

“Part of the reason that Somalia fishermen turned to piracy was that uncontrolled industrial fishing driven by profit rather than hunger cleared the fish from their seas. Our bit of sea, the Firth of Clyde , has lost its magic to the same anonymous ‘investors’ Grab the money and go. How good it could be again. We have something unique here in the Firth of Clyde . Magnificent scenery, sheltered waters, hospitable people. It could become the sea-fishing destination for Northern Europe.”


- Roddy Ferguson
3 years

“I am fortunate to live at Portencross. Local residents once made a living fishing for salmon and lobster. I watch boats trawling the sea bed knowing it is damaging the marine environment. I hope this damage can be reversed. I hope that my grandchildren will be able to enjoy this wonderful environment.”


- Margaret McKee
3 years, 1 month

“As a youngster in the late 60′s early 70′s and getting older into the 80′s I used to love fishing between Largs and Ayr and putting back codling around 3 lb mark as they were classed as too wee. Also catching haddies that would keep the family and neighbours going for the whole of the week till the next trip out. Today if I catch a 3 lb codling I consider myself lucky as the fish are no longer there. Back then there was all sorts of pollutants going into the Clyde area and yet fish survived and were able to grow and breed but yet today with the area cleaned up we have no more fish. It has been trawled to near extinction and the ecosystem damaged so much that it will be difficult to get it back to the former glory. In my view it is time to stop any fishing in the area unless it is pleasure fishing and build reefs to allow the ecosystem to grow and get the fish back again. There must be a way that is cheap and easy to use what we discard to help build reefs and protect the species for a long term future. This will not be done overnight but just now I have good memories of great fishing times and would like my grandchildren to be able to tell their grandchildren of how The Clyde was once bare but because of all ours and their efforts it is an excellent sporting area “


- G Williamson
3 years, 2 months

“As a scuba diver from Greenock I have been diving the Clyde since I was a wee boy and there is a massive difference in the sea life numbers and variety it’s not rocket science the plough marks are well visible on the sea bed if you rip up the sea bed you damage the whole Eco cycle in years to come if this continues the place will be Barron. Look after the Clyde and the Clyde will look after us.”


- Mark lee
3 years, 3 months

“The Firth of Clyde is home to me. I love it dearly. I am very sad that it has been so exploited and damaged. I was born a couple of years before the war and brought up in Glasgow. The Clyde was the shipyards, the Princes Dock and the Govan ferry. To avoid the bombs we moved from the city to Rothesay. Magic! The war was still there, the Cyclops was in the bay servicing the submarines. but we had steamers and the Pier. And if you went to the pier and walked down the steps where the navy boats unloaded and looked down into the water – you could see fish! Swimming about. Under the pier. More magic! I wasn’t old enough to go to school but I got a hand line and some musssels off the shore. Thrill of a lifetime. You could see the wee Saith darting for your bait – Tweek – tweek – Got it! Yes but it got me. I became a fisherman.

A lot of time has passed. I have caught all kinds of fish all over the world including Dunoon (Gantocks) which used to host the British Sea Fishing Championships, Holy Loch, Loch Long (used to be world record for Cod), maybe getting a bit out of the Firth, Tarbet Loch Fyne, Largs, Ardrossan, Saltcoats, Lamlash, Brodick etc…Plenty of fish in the sea! Not when there are enormous profits to be made.”


- Roddy Ferguson
3 years, 3 months

“I am an active member of Kilmarnock sub aqua club we have our dive rib moored at the Largs yacht haven and we dive various sites around the Clyde all year round. The difference in the underwater habitat from the areas which are dredged to the small areas that cant be dredged manly due to rocks is shocking. If the devastation this type of fishing was visible on the surface it would be banned immediately. STOP THE DREDGING NOW.”


- Brian Mckenna
3 years, 3 months

“It means I have to travel to other areas, even countries to catch the same fish that I use to get on my door step in three towns, and the revenue (from fishing and related sports) that this area badly needs is now going elsewhere.”


- kenneth jackson
3 years, 3 months

“Would love to be able to fish these waters and catch a fish! Fishing boats are trawling Clyde and holy loch 24/7. Tried to talk to Ian Hepburn southerly loch being protected and he said it wasn’t protected. Wishing yous all the best hope you don’t hit the same brick wall I did”


- John campbell
3 years, 3 months

“We have a small recreational boat we use for Fishing on the Clyde
We support sustainable fishing of Inshore water with the use of Creel .
It amazes me that inshore trawling is allowed to go on in inshore waters you can see them daily 10 feet of the shore from Largs to Greenock ripping the langoustine from their burrows destroying the sea bed and also having a high discard catch all returned dead “


- Joe
3 years, 3 months

“The Firth of Clyde still has a flourishing fishing industry and the fish stocks are on the way up as recent surveys have shown. This is much to the actions of the Clyde fishermen themselves, due to gear set up and methods used.
For the claims that scallop trawl has annihilated the fish stock is a joke. Scallop gear doesn’t catch round fish, in fact the act of scallop trawl results in feeding for fish.
The fishermen that fish The Clyde have done so for generations and its not in there interests to annihilate anything.
Like most of my fellow small community fishermen around The Clyde we are 3, 4, and 5 generation fishermen and there businesses have never being more viable than in the last five years.
Trawl fishermen in The Clyde have done much recently to protect The Clyde and should be commended for this. Unlike the act of creel fishing that is rapidly damaging stocks in some areas of the Clyde and as for other fisheries that electrocute everything on the sea bed, What can you say.”


- Kenny Brown
3 years, 3 months

“I was born in Glasgow in the 50s and spent my formative years holidaying on Arran, Rosneath, Fairlie etc and being keen on all things watery I spent my time fishing snorkelling and diving in the Firth of Clyde.In the following years I have fished all round the globe both in salt and freshwater. What a change I have seen in the Clyde in that time (particularly the last three decades). The Firth has been reduced from a healthy abundant fishery to one that, when out fishing for three hours yesterday off Arran, in all of our old favourite places,I caught only three juvenile Saithe and one tiny Cod. Gone are the days when you could hire a boat from any number of places and head out with a hand line and catch eight different species in an afternoon. As I diver I have seen the devastating effect the trawling gear has on the seabed. The habitat, so vital for the production of a healthy population of both fish and their food supply, has been totally wrecked by dredging. Our only hope …… is that more areas are protected and properly managed to give fish stocks a chance to revive if we want our kids to enjoy the Firth as we did.”


- Frank Law
3 years, 3 months

“Restore the three mile limit for all towed gear. That was the start of the problem when the spawning grounds were opened up to mobile gear. The fish need sanctuary somewhere, especially at spawning time, give it back to them!”


- Iain Campbell
3 years, 3 months

“What we see in the Clyde is an example of the damage that can be done, – to coastal estuaries, the sea and in turn our oceans by man; by polluting it, over fishing it and using it for heavy commercial industries without giving a thought for the very thing that created it in the first place…its ecosystem.

The Clyde has hit a low in terms of heavy industry, the commercial finfish industry has all but collapsed and now at last we are becoming more responsible with what we put into it…the old west coast term, “Tip it in the Tide” is becoming out-dated.

Many feel that we are at a ‘tipping point’, a turning point in the future of the Clyde; what we do from here could protect both the species and habitats both for their future and that of our own. It could be argued in the past, that profit/greed verses knowledge of the damage done was not known; BUT now we do know what damage our commercial activities have done to our fragile marine ecosystems…

BUT will we do something about it in time to save the Clyde and beyond?


- Mark Carter
3 years, 3 months

“As a boy, teenager and adult, I and my immediate and extended family have fished the Clyde from our base in Whiting Bay. Every year we would hire a rowing boat, or two, and fish in the bay or off King’s Cross Point. I have therefore experienced the decline in many species of fish – cod, haddock, whiting, flounder, plaice, skate even, dogfish, eel – and am in no doubt that the sudden increase in inshore fishing is the cause, certainly a huge contributing factor.”


- Craig Simpson
3 years, 3 months

“Fished the Clyde in the 70`s through early 80`s mainly at Craig and Doran pier and Cardros rock pile.We caught many different species with some very nice cod and pollok and the shoals of mackerel chasing the whiting fry were legendary. This all changed mid 80`s when the huge trawler ships started working up and down continually, by the early 90`s there was virtually nothing left.This really left a hole in me as I had spent my teenage years fishing the Clyde….”


- Jim Bennett
3 years, 4 months

“The decline of the Clyde as a fishing destination began many years ago, in the 50s and 60s the catch of cod and haddock was legendary with many very large fish being caught by both recreational and commercial boats. Even as a small boy in the 70s (5 -9)I can remember snorkelling of the north shore at Adrossan and seeing large groups of plaice in the summer, many of which made it to the table after being speared in waist deep water! The fishing methods that have been allowed to proliferate in the Clyde have created a wrecked sea bed so that it is fit for little more than Nephrops norvegicus and the harvesting of the rest of the benthic population has enabled them to proliferate. There are analogies with the Clyde and the Grand Banks where over fishing destroyed the fishery economy. The Clyde can recover but to do so it will require radical thinking on behalf of the government and the fishermen. There is a great need for a ban on the use of any towed gear in the area and the use of static gear only. The Clyde should be a fantastic nursery area for many species of fish which are of both recreational and commercial interest. Allowing the Clyde to recover will take many years but the benefits will not only be for the Clyde community but may well have ramifications for many species of fish in the Irish Sea and Atlantic Sea board of Scotland.”


- Nick Chisholm
3 years, 4 months

“We’ve witnessed first-hand the decline of the Clyde’s fisheries and have been working for nearly 20 years to restore the seas around Arran. We fully support the ‘Revive the Clyde’ campaign to rejuvenate the Firth of Clyde with better management, diverse fisheries and marine tourism. We are currently campaigning for a marine protected area (MPA) which if designated, will allow regeneration of the seabed around the south of Arran and increase the social, economic and environmental benefits for Arran and Clyde communities. “


- Andrew Binnie, Manager, Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST)
3 years, 4 months

“I had great fun fishing from leisure boats out of Largs as a young lad in the 60′s & 70′s memories that I treasure. Now I have a son of 6 yr’s and I can only tell him stories of how good it was. No doubt he will consider this later in life and will place the blame firmly and rightly on our generation. Now we have a chance to turn things round for future generations and it is a chance we must take.”


- C.H, Oban
3 years, 4 months

“On fishing festivals, The White Horse shore based festival had between 1500 & 2000 anglers, but the last time it was held they caught 1 Cod. It brought in a huge amount of money to the local economy. Angling boats have lost jobs; we were the first ones to go. 98% of sea angling boats around Scotland have been eliminated, just gone out of business.”


- Tony Wass, former RSA skipper (as quoted from the documentary Caught in Time, 2007)
3 years, 4 months

“There is now little doubt in my mind – though I admit to having been sceptical for years- that constant bottom trawling and scallop dredging for almost five decades have contributed to the destruction of the fish breeding cycle on the Clyde and Gigha grounds.”


- Freddy Gillies, former Clyde fisherman (from his book Silver from the Sea, 2005)
3 years, 4 months

“The Scary thing is I’ve worked it out ,it took 17 years to knacker the Clyde. That’s all it took, they called it progress but I don’t think it is. The Traditions all gone now, they go oot and catch a few mackerel, but theres maybe only 1 fisherman left in ma home village of maidens. There used to be 9 McCrindle owned boats in the Ayrshire fleet, there’s none now, not one.”


- Howard McCrindle, former Clyde fisherman (as quoted from the documentary Caught in Time, 2007)
3 years, 4 months

“That many species are locally depleted to the point of commercial non viability is undeniable, but the generality of fishermen are reluctant to admit that overfishing and indiscriminate destruction of small fish- notably small meshed prawn trawls might be the primary causes. They will cite water- temperature changes, depradation by seals, The Chernobyl disaster of 1986 and other forms of pollution as possible causes but shrink from accepting at least part of the blame”


- Angus Martin, former Clyde fishermen (from his book Fish and Fisherfolk of Kintyre, Loch Fyne, Gigha and Arran, 2004)
3 years, 4 months

“Came across SIFT site. Fab really positive. I’m a marine biologist and consultant working in aquaculture and marine projects. Frustrated at the lack of action re the damage Nephrops trawling and Scallop dredging has caused to the Clyde and West coast ecosystem. Why do SNH ignore it?”


- Don, Argyll
3 years, 5 months

“I would like to thank you for your work ,as a Leisure fisherman we fish from a small boat on the River Clyde it saddens me to see trawling still being allowed in the inshore waters of the clyde and the damage they have done , no big cod visit anymore and basking shark now also rare and their will soon be no more languistine if they keep trawling for them . I am in support of the Creel fishermen and respect their practice of static gear fishing . I would appreciate an update on your work in the clyde . last year we made around 25 trips and if we can be of any help to your work just let us know.”


- Joe
3 years, 5 months