Information

Marine and fisheries compliance: reports of illegal fishing in marine protected areas - 26 May 2020 to 30 November 2021

Number of reports of alleged illegal fishing in an marine protected area (MPA) from Marine Scotland.

This document is part of a collection


The table shows the number of reports received from the public by MPA and gear type where known (this does not record the number of incursions, not all reports are confirmed incursions, see accompanying notes)

Reports are received from a range of sources and may range from very accurate to completely inaccurate. They do not prove wrongdoing or suggest guilt and it is misleading to present them as such.

Further investigation might be needed to confirm this. Reports may contain errors such as:

  • misidentification of vessels
  • misidentification of activity
  • inaccurate details as to exact location of the activity being witnessed; and
  • and a range of other issues

Other points to note:

  • the presence of a vessel in an MPA does not mean a law has been broken as vessels may transit through areas
  • different MPAs carry different restrictions so what is illegal in one, might not be in another
  • reports often do not confirm exactly where a vessel is in relation to any restrictions and are simply a report of what someone thinks they have seen
  • reports are seldom in real time but received after an event so the prospect of immediate action is reduced
  • reports received are taken at face value and accuracy cannot be verified until followed up at a later stage
  • reports are issued to officers to investigate to the extent that the evidence allows
  • all the reports received inform our tasking of marine and air assets and these provide a mechanism to gather further intelligence and enforcement action on the basis of that intelligence
  • a single report might relate to multiple vessels, and multiple reports may all relate to the same event or vessel
  • there is seldom a clear “line of sight” between reports received, and enforcement actions that might be taken
  • reports help build up a picture of what might be happening and our own assets can then investigate further
  • generally speaking, the reports are not kept any longer than three years

Reports from 26 May 2020 to 30 November 2020

      Gear Type  
Closure name Total number of reports Total no. of vessels Trawl Dredge Creel Other N/K Comments
Loch Alsh MPA 1 1   1        
West Shetland Shelf MPA 1 1 1          
Inner Sound MPA 1 1   1        
Wester Ross MPA 2 2 2          
Upper Loch Fyne MPA 3 1 1   2     Creel marker buoys
South Arran MPA 1 1 1          
TOTALS 9 7 5 2 2      

Reports from 1 December 2020 to 31 May 2021

      Gear Type  
Closure name Total number of reports Total no. of vessels Trawl Dredge Creel Other N/K Comment
Wester Ross MPA 2 2 2          
South Arran MPA 5 6 4   2      
Loch Sween MPA 1 1 1          
Duart Castle MPA 1 1 1          
Red Rocks & Longay MPA 1 1     1      
East Mingulay MPA 1 1     1      
Loch Sunart MPA 1 1   1        
Wyre & Rousay Sounds MPA 1 1   1        
Luce Bay MPA 2 1   1        
TOTALS 15 15 8 3 4      

Reports from 1 June 2021 to 30 November 2021

 

 

 

Gear Type

 

Closure name

Total number of reports

Total no. of vessels

Trawl

Dredge

Creel

Other

N/K

Comments

Firth of Lorne MPA

1

2

 

2

 

 

 

 

West Shetland Shelf MPA

1

1

1

 

 

 

 

 

Loch Gairloch MPA

2

1

1

 

 

 

 

 

Loch Roag MPA

2

3

 

 

3

 

 

 

South Arran MPA

8

 

4

 

5

 

1

Includes unidentified number of twin rigged trawlers and marker buoys

Firth of Clyde MPA

1

1

1

 

 

 

 

 

Sound of Harris MPA

1

1

 

 

 

 

1

 

Luce Bay MPA

1

1

1

 

 

 

 

 

Unknown

2

 

 

 

 

1

1

Anon info - no details given

Totals

19

10

8

2

8

1

3

 

Contact

Email: UKFMC@gov.scot

Phone: 0131 271 9700

Fax: 0131 244 6471

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