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North Yorks Enquirer

“The Impact Of Inshore Scallop Dredging”

August 4, 2015 Letters

A Letter to the Editor from Patrick FORD, of Scarborough, drawing readers’ attention to a crisis facing the local inshore crab-fishing industry.


Dear sir,

My name Patrick Ford.

I own the fishing boat  Optimistic SH50.

I want to try to explain the damage scallop dredging does to the sea-bed and marine habitat.

Myself and the local crab and lobster fishermen want to give you the reasons why the bye-law that SBC have in place at the moment (ending on the 1st January 2016) should be made permanent – or at least to do a full study – because there is no going back when the damage is done to a fantastic crab and lobster fishery that has only been getting better year after year.

These are the reasons why it needs looking after up to the six mile limit.

  1. Damage to the sea bed and habitat.
  2. Up to ten years to recover.
  3. So many crabs and lobsters with no claws now.
  4. No respect for the law: scallop dredgers still coming in to within 4.5 mile of land.
  5. Loss of 1,460 lobster pots since last September (2014). How can this be allowed?
  6. Scallop dredgers still able to earn a very good living beyond the six mile limit, so what is the problem?
  7. Over fishing against the inland rock, because boats will be pushed in to it.
  8. The pots we have from 2-6 mile off land at the moment are so full of life that needs looking after.
  9. The nomadic boats that are working out of Scarborough harbour are putting barely any money into the local economy. They live on the boats and go home when it is bad weather. The only reason they are here is because they have ruined there own grounds.
  10. You can’t have the most destructive way of fishing competing against the most eco-friendly way of fishing. It just doesn’t work together.

What you have got to think about is why three years ago Bridlington pushed for the six mile limit because they could see the damage that the scallop dredgers would cause.

Just please do the right thing.

Look after the small strip of seabed (3-6 mile) before it is to late. If you would like to have a chat with me my number is 07795411356, or you can email me on

Thank you.

Patrick Ford

Patrick FORD, Scarborough. 4th August, 2015.

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