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Spurdog Tagathon

Aug 30,2008 SACN


SSACN Sunnart Spurdog Tagathon

The SSACN Sunnart Spurdog Tagathon will be going ahead on the 15th and 16th of November

The main aim of the weekend is to tag as many spurdog as possible from the shore and boat in Loch Sunnart and raise the public awareness of the urgent need for sharks, ray and skate protection in Scottish waters.

We need to get some sort of organisation into the event, so all shore anglers are within calling distance of an experienced tagger/tagging kit and each boat has a tagging kit and knows how to use it.

Depending on numbers we will split shore anglers into teams of perhaps 4-6 people and each team will have a tagging kit and a team leader who will have had experience in tagging.

Much of this will have to be sorted well in advance as communications will be nigh on impossible around Sunnart

The SSACN website will shortly have a couple of pages designated to the Tagathon and access to this will be via an individual login procedure.

To receive your login passwords you will need to register your name and email address with Davy Murray (WSF Forum name conger conger ) by pm or by email dm_viragev8@hotmail.com

Accommodation

Regards the accommodation; most folk have already got sorted so if you haven’t, I would book in somewhere quickly. I think the main centres where people will be staying are around Strontian and Salen. One of the pages on the SSACN website will have an accommodation page shortly where people can help others get fixed up

If you fancy joining what looks like to be (judging by the response) a fantastic weekend then please register with Davy.

We can then sound out emails via a distribution list


Just a bit of back ground for those not aware of SSACN’s project and the plight of the Spurdog.

Spurdog (Spiny Dogfish) are
• exceptionally slow-growing and vulnerable to overfishing
• heavily exploited primarily for European demand for meat
• considered Critically Endangered in the Northeast Atlantic by the IUCN
• inadequately protected and in danger of collapse from overfishing in Europe
• in urgent need of stronger conservation measures

Evidence from many anglers suggests that the Lochs Sunnart and Etive and surrounding waters have a unique resident population and that the spurdog pup in the region.

We believe the Scottish Government could provide real leadership by setting aside this area to provide a springboard for the regeneration of the Species.

However, the Scottish Marine Directorate has stated they need scientific data before they are willing to take any action, such as declaring the area a Nursery area.

This would also protect the local Common Skate populations

The only way to gather the evidence is by tagging, which will be carried out in two phases

1. Our members are already tagging the fish with standard plastic darts and this information will be collated by the UK shark tagging programme.
See http://www.ukshark.co.uk 

2. The Scottish Government’s marine scientists at the Fisheries Research Services (FRS) will administer an enhanced programme using satellite tags providing we can raise the necessary £25,000 to pay for tags and satellite time.

Sea Life Centres have SSACN notice boards highlighting the Spurdog Tagging programme in 12 of their centres (many thousands of people will see these every week) with collection boxes helping to raise the necessary money.



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