Probe after creels found

Poster displaying the Lamlash No Take Zone.

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An investigation is under way after around 50 whelk creels were allegedly laid illegally in the Lamlash no take zone.

The creels were discovered by accident last Tuesday and, after an inspection, there were found to be no markings on the bouys. It is believed they had been laid some days before by a fishing boat which is not from this area. They have since been lifted.

The Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) has been given information and photographs of the boat’s activity, which have been handed over to Marine Scotland compliance. The MV Minna from the Fisheries Protection Agency has been to the area to investigate.


COAST director Paul Chandler said: ‘Thankfully this is a rare occurrence in our NTZ but we need to be vigilant to protect our seas.

‘Thanks everyone for your support, specially to all those who regularly keep a look out in the NTZ and MPA for any irregular activity and inform us or Marine Scotland compliance. It really helps to have so many of you caring for our local seabeds and sea life.’

A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘I can confirm that Marine Scotland is investigating allegations of fishing operations taking place in a closed area near Arran in the Firth of Clyde.

‘As this investigation is ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.’