SSACN research project funds receive boost from SEA LIFE

Conservation charity, the Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network (SSACN - has received a substantial donation from the Loch Lomond Aquarium SEA LIFE Centre which will be used to help support the educational outreach activities associated with SSACN inshore marine conservation programmes.

The Loch Lomond Aquarium and 11 other SEA LIFE centres have also installed a series of information boards highlighting the plight of sharks, with a special focus on spurdog. A once common type of shark found in huge numbers in Scottish waters, they have become critically endangered in recent years due to excessive exploitation and are now essentially restricted to Lochs Etive, Sunart and surrounding waters.

Ian Burrett, SSACN's Project Director pointed out that  " Even though the spurdog are at 5% of their original biomass, Cabinet Secretary Lochhead and the Marine Directorate still require further evidence before they are willing to take any action to protect them. Our programme is therefore aimed at gathering the data necessary to provide estimates of fish movements and whether or not there is a resident population of breeding spurdog."

he continued " the fact  that SEA LIFE centres around Britain are now working to raise awareness and money to support the SSACN spurdog tagging programme will help accelerate the work which has been done to date by volunteer sea anglers."

Emma McDougal SEA LIFE's marketing coordinator - "This funding reflects the natural link between the activities of SSACN and SEA LIFE and this, combined with our environmental and biological experience, will help provide SSACN with the resources necessary  to communicate the issues associated with their vital practical conservation programmes; SEA LIFE will in turn benefit by receiving additional feedback for projects within our centres."

Denis Kelly - SSACN's Secretary, is receiving a cheque for £1500 from Mark Hind and Adam Downs of the Loch Lomond Aquarium