Sea Fishing News

Read all of the latest news about angling, commercial fishing, conservation and other issues relating to the marine environment.

April 2022 News

112lb cod caught by commercial vessel: A cod which weighed 112lb (50kg) and was 6ft was landed at Grimsby this month. Caught in the North Atlantic waters, the cod was reportedly line caught by an Icelandic commercial vessel named the Berger. Seafood buyer Nathan Godley bought the cod for £165 and told the mirror that the catch could be a British record or a North Atlantic record for a commercially caught cod, although such information was hard to verify. Read more and see pictures of the cod by clicking here.

Dogger Bank finally given protection from trawling: The Dogger Bank, an area of the North Sea around 100 miles from the east coast of England, had finally been given protection from trawling. The area is relatively shallow, which means it is highly productive and home to many species of fish, shellfish and crustaceans. Despite the Dogger Bank being listed as an MPA (Marine Protected Area), trawling was still allowed to take place within it, leading to intense criticism of the entire MPA scheme. In 2020 Greenpeace dropped huge boulders across the dogger bank to attempt to stop trawling within it, and Oceana, the world’s largest marine conservation group, launched a legal challenge saying that allowing trawling in protected areas may be illegal. This pressure appears to have paid off and from June this year the Fisheries Act 2020 will prevent the Dogger Bank from being trawled, with several other areas also receiving the same protection. However, conservationists have pointed out that there are still sixty-four MPAs where trawling is allowed to take place. Read more here.

Fishermen face backlash after calling for seal cull: A group of Cornish fishermen have been criticised after demanding a seal cull due to the supposed damage the mammals cause to fish stocks. The Cornish Mackerel Fishermen group also said that seals were the “rats of the sea” and were quoted as saying that for every one fish the fishermen caught, seals ate fifty-three times more, although they were unable to provide a source for this statistic. Conservation groups such as Blue Planet Society condemned the call for a seal cull, and it was also pointed out that evidence points to seals catching relatively few fish. Seal culls which have happened elsewhere in the United Kingdom have been controversial. In 2020 eighty seals were shot to protect salmon in Scottish fish farms, although countries such as the USA are soon banning salmon imports from countries which kill seals to protect fisheries. Click here to read more on this story.

More species added to MCS’s fish to avoid list: Fourteen new species have been added to the Marine Conservation Society’s “fish to avoid list” after ten were added last year. The new species include skate and rays, which have been in decline globally, and monkfish from the west of Scotland and the North Sea as numbers of this species have reached their lowest levels since 2013. Scottish crab and lobsters have also been added to the avoid list due to poor management of populations and fears that whales and sharks can become entangled in pots and creels. The Guardian quoted statistics saying that 2.2 per cent of Scottish minke whale deaths could be caused by entanglement, although this number could be higher as only Shetland places limits on the number of pots and creels which commercial fishermen can use. Of the 656 species analysed by the MCS, 161 were placed on the avoid list, while 148, including mackerel, North Sea herring, sardines from the Channel and Celtic Sea and pot-caught scampi, were given the best choice rating. Read more on this story by clicking here.

Cornish Greenland shark died of meningitis: A Greenland shark which was found washed up dead off the coast of Cornwall died of meningitis, a post-mortem study of the animal has shown. The shark was found by a dog walker on a beach near Penzance last month. It was washed back out to sea by the tide but was later recovered by a boat. Greenland sharks usually live at depths of thousands of metres and it is very rare to find one washed up on a beach. The shark was estimated to be around 100 years old, although this makes it a juvenile in Greenland shark terms, as the species has been confirmed as living for around 250 years, and may have a lifespan of over 500 years, making the species the planet’s longest-living vertebrate. Meningitis has been known to affect sharks, but its prevalence in the species is poorly understood. Sections of the Greenland shark’s skin and flesh have been sent for researchers around the UK to analyse, and it is hoped that this will allow further aspects of the species biology to be better understood. Read more on this story here.

 

Read our news archive of all of the sea fishing news going back to the start of 2014:

News Archive – 2022

News Archive – 2021

News Archive – 2020

News Archive – 2019

News Archive – 2018

News Archive – 2017

News Archive – 2016

News Archive – 2015

News Archive – 2014

Credit for newspaper image at top of page: Copyright: flynt / 123RF Stock Photo