Scotland authorises razor clam electrofishing trial
2017-04-11 17:55:33   copyfrom:    hits:

Performed in a suitable way, electrofishing can be a sustainable way to catch razor clams (Photo: gentleness Sun
 

Performed in a suitable way, electrofishing can be a sustainable way to catch razor clams. (Photo: gentleness Sunday Herald)

 

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Wednesday, April 05, 2017, 01:20 (GMT + 9)

 

The Scottish Government would authorise a controlled trial of electrofishing for razor clams (Ensis spp.) in an attempt to ensure fisheries could be operated sustainably with appropriate harvest rates.

The trial, which follows the conclusion of a consultation between industry, environmental organisations and local communities, will investigate the size and potential for commercial razor clam production.

Marine Scotland will now consult further with partner public bodies, including Scottish Natural Heritage, and with the Scottish Fishermen’s Associations to ascertain the best locations for trials to take place.

“Scotland has a rich and diverse natural environment with a coastline that is world renowned – not only for its unique habitats but also for high quality seafood,” pointed out Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing.

The secretary explained that the responses to the consultation and previous research suggest that, where properly applied, electrofishing can be a sustainable and safe method of harvesting razor clams in a way that is less intrusive than traditional methods like dredging.

“We will now undertake scientific trials in specified areas to ensure we fully understand the potential of the industry, and how we best access the economic possibilities in this area,” Ewing concluded.

Electro-fishing for razors involve probes being slowly dragged across the sea bed, from a fishing vessel. The electric pulse causes the clams to suddenly emerge from their burrows and they are then collected by divers.

Permissions to undertake electrofishing would require the Scottish Government to inform, but not seek permission, from the European Commission.

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