Dear Mr Reid
I work for Fish Legal in Scotland but am also a founder trustee of the Sustainable Inshore Fisheries Trust (SIFT). In this instance I am writing on behalf of SIFT for your help in reviving one of Scotland’s most important inshore fisheries. The Firth of Clyde is Britain’s largest inland sea and it has been a vital fishery resource to the people of Scotland in its long history but it now needs your help.
Inshore waters like the Firth of Clyde are warm and sheltered (comparatively that is) and can support important habitat that is vital for the survival of many fish species. Since our inshore fisheries were opened up to virtually unlimited bottom trawling and dredging in the mid eighties inshore fish stocks up and down the west coast have been decimated. The Clyde’s fish populations in particular have been dramatically altered (Those interested in more detail should take a look at MSS’s Clyde Ecosystem Review on the website noted below).
As someone who has an interest in fish, albeit the freshwater variety, we hope that you will be able to support SIFT’s campaign. Here are three good reasons why:
1. The Brotherhood of the Angle. Support fellow fishermen. Recreational sea angling used to be big business on the Firth of Clyde. Unfortunately as target fish species have declined so has this once lucrative fishery. We estimate that a recovered RSA economy could be worth as much as £10 million a year to the local Clyde economy. [There is a particular irony that whilst the Scottish Government has decided that the freshwater fisheries management structures are not fit for purpose (Wild Fisheries Review) they have done nothing to protect or develop the interests of recreational sea angling, a public fishery for which they are responsible and which could be highly economically significant to Scotland.]
2. Inshore areas are important to salmonids too. Unrestricted inshore scallop dredging has had a huge impact on the flora and fauna of inshore waters reducing its complexity and its productivity. It is hard to imagine that this has not impacted in some way on salmonid populations particularly sea trout, although there has been very little research on this subject.
3. Inshore fisheries are a public resource and should be managed in the public interest. A recovery of inshore fisheries is in the public interest and will support and strengthen vulnerable coastal communities. The decline of productivity of our inshore fisheries underwater has been mirrored by a decline of the inshore fisheries economy with a loss of income and jobs. To manage for productivity and not for decline requires measures be taken to restore the health of inshore fish populations through measures such as protection of inshore fish nursery grounds. Strangely enough the Victorian Fishery Board of Scotland were aware of the need to do this as are most other Northern European coastal states.
To pledge your support we ask that you sign our Clyde Charter. This and all the campaign information is available on our website at: http://www.revivetheclyde.org
You can also join us on our social media sites: Twitter@revivetheclyde and Facebook www.facebook.com/revivetheclyde and help spread the work and follow the campaign as it progresses.
Many thanks for your support and let me know if you have any enquiries. Are you able to spread the work among RKAA club anglers?
Robert W Younger
Fish Legal Scotland
Tel: 0131 556 4462
Fish Legal is a unique, non-profit making organisation set up to use the law to fight pollution and other damage to the water environment through the promotion of angling. Fish Legal represents its members throughout the UK and in England acts as the legal arm of the Angling Trust. www.anglingtrust.net
Scottish Water has been fined £12,000 after sewage water overflowed into a burn in East Dunbartonshire.
The utility firm admitted allowing the spill into Kirkintilloch’s Purgatory Burn between 6 March and 25 June 2013.
Glasgow Sheriff Court heard manholes became blocked and sewage leaked at the burn’s junction with the River Kelvin.
As a result, the water changed colour, there was a strong smell and the burn’s banks were littered with sanitary products and needles.
Procurator fiscal depute Kate Fleming told the court that the pollution was caused by dual manholes, meaning the surface and foul sewers run parallel to each other.
She said: “When there is a blockage in the sewer, the sewer backs up with untreated sewage and overflows into the surface water drainage system, meaning that sewage pollution is sent directly into the water environment.”
The court was told that these manholes have been deemed unfit for purpose and that the “prolonged pollution” was caused by repeated incidents at three manholes on Ailsa Drive and Fellsview Avenue, Kirkintilloch.
Ms Fleming added: “In addition to the illegal discharge of sewage into the burn, there is no evidence of Scottish Water cleaning up the sewage debris left behind as a result of the sewage escaping into the water environment.
“The debris has been left along the Purgatory Burn and been discharged into the River Kelvin.”
An update from SEPA.
There was a spill/release of detergent to the sewer on the south side of Glasgow. The heavy overnight rain saw the operation of storm overflows, likely all around the south side (‘Shieldhall catchment’) of Glasgow.
Agitation of the detergent in the sewer and in the water environment caused extensive foaming which was visible in the White Cart and some of its tributaries, and then coming from the CSO under the ‘Squiggly Bridge’ in the city centre.
The onus is on Scottish Water to investigate the source of the unauthorised discharge to their sewer, but we collected various samples and asked our ecologists to check on impact. In summary, it looks like there’s been no notable effect on the White Cart and its tributaries, and the transitional Clyde in the City Centre. Surprisingly, one watercourse (the Bagabout Burn) was showing quite a significant improvement in invertebrate scores (indicating good water quality > 6 months), despite the incident. Not sure of the reasons for this, but the wet winter may have helped.
So, although very visible, the foaming was short lived and doesn’t seem to have done any harm.
Below is an update from SEPA regarding the large piles of sewage on Red Burn Farm NE of Torrance, and the resulting problems with discharge entering the burn. Thank you to those members that brought it to our attention
As discussed earlier a Paragraph 8(1) Waste Management Licence exemption was in place for the storage of sewage sludge at Red Burn Farm in Torrance. During the storage period the operator breached the relevant objectives of the exemption by not providing secure storage of the material. They also breached GBR 18 of the Controlled Activities Regulations as contaminated effluent discharged to the Red Burn.
Over the period SEPA officers attended on numerous occasions to respond to complaints, inspect operations, mitigate/reduce risk of further pollution and sample/survey to provide evidence for enforcement action.
Our sampling and ecology survey of the burn indicated that in periods of heavy rainfall, intermittently contaminated effluent discharged to the burn. As this discharge occurred during heavy rainfall then pollution was mitigated by dilution from high flows and well aerated cold water which maintained oxygen levels. The discharge however was recorded as having a negative impact on the burn and the health of some invertebrates had been affected. Localised sewage fungus near the discharge point was also noted but not noted downstream. Mitigation measures were then carried out to reduce the risk of further pollution with material taken off-site.
SEPA management decided that due to the non-compliance of the legislation discussed that the exemption would be removed. This does not allow the operator to store material at Red Burn Farm. All material was removed from the site on the 17th of April.
The Clyde River Foundation have kindly agreed to run two riverfly workshop events for us in May (Saturday the 3rd and the 10th). At the workshop you will learn about the various vertibrae that inhabit the Kelvin, and how to identifiy them.
We have 10 places available per day, and each group will learn how to take a kick sample, how to indentify the contents of the sample, and how to record the results.
The cost of the course is £35 per applicant. If you volunteer to take a sample once a month on behalf of the CRIMP project, then the association will cover the cost of your training.
If you are interested in attending the workshop then please give me a call (07730682748) or drop me an email (email@example.com).
The Gallery prior to the recent clean up work.
This Saturday we will be meeting at the Islay Inn on Argyle Street for hot rolls and a few libations at 11.30am. From there the piper will lead us to the river just upstream of Snow Bridge (behind the Art Gallery).
It looks like we might have ourselves a celebrity to throw the first line, and later we can all meet again in the Islay Inn at 3pm to swap stories and eat pies!
As you can see from the pictures several members have done a great job cleaning up and removing obstructions from the pool (which will now be known as a The Gallery). Thanks to all that helped out.
Fingers crossed for the weather, but it is shaping up to be a great day!
I hope many of you are going to attend this on Saturday. Even if you are unsure if you can commit to the project, feel free to go along and find out more. It promises to be a very informative day.
There will be interested (potential) volunteers from various local groups. It would be a sad state of affairs if the anglers were outnumbered. For the people that like to talk about how much they care for the river and the fish, here is a chance to turn those words into action.
“Caring for the Clyde”
2nd Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership (CRIMP) Citizen Science Meeting
Saturday 8th March 2014
Time: 11.30 – 15.00
Graham Kerr Building, University of Glasgow, University Avenue, G12 8QQ
11.30 – Registration
11.45 – Dr William Yeomans (Clyde River Foundation) – Welcome and Introduction
Citizen Science for Communities
12:00 – Lesley Deans (CRIMP co-ordinator) – CRIMP’s First Year
12.15 – Theo Thomas – Love the Lea – Citizen Science in an Urban Watershed
13.00 Tea and Cake
Citizen Science for Schools
13:45 – Lizzie Willows – Riverfly Monitoring for Schools
14.10 – Lesley Deans – Clyde Living Lab – a proposal for Secondary Schools
14.30 – What Next?
If you wish to attend the meeting on March 8th, please formally register your place with the Project Coordinator, Lesley Deans.
Tel: 0141 330 5080
Following our complaints last year regarding silt run off, I am canvasing members for comments and or pictures that could be used in a possible enforcement action with regards to the Bothlin Burn and Luggie Water. If you have anything that you think might support the case please let me know.
It appears that a batch of permits are missing permit holders (the self laminating badge). If you purchase a permit and notice that your badge is missing, email or text me your address (firstname.lastname@example.org 07730682748) and I will get one posted to you.