A NEW fisheries management programme has been implemented across the Firth of Clyde in a bid to tackle a series of long-term issues facing the industry.

Devised and proposed by representatives from the Clyde Fishermen’s Association and enabled through the West Coast Regional Inshore Fisheries Group (WCRIFG), the voluntary scheme came into effect on Thursday, September 1.

The group behind the scheme says it is designed to improve catch-per-unit effort rates, reduce gear conflict between static and mobile gear vessels, improve health and safety at sea, and encourage crews and boat owners to take more responsibility for managing the marine environment.

The programme will be piloted for an initial three years and covers the entire Firth of Clyde north of a line from the Mull of Kintyre to Corsewall Point and Loch Ryan.

Simon Macdonald, Chairman of WCRIFG said: “There has been a need for this program for a number of years, and I am delighted to see the enthusiasm and determination being shown by the Clyde fishers and CFA to see this programme come to fruition and to drive it forward for the betterment of our fishing industry.”