Scottish Creel Fishermen's Federation  

Creeling and the Environment

The waters around Scotland’s coast are home to a complex and beautiful array of marine life. Habitats such as maerl beds and flame shell reefs are of international as well as national importance, and it is imperative that they are protected. Creel fishing can be carried out in areas that support fragile habitats and the species that depend on them without destroying them.

SCFF are committed to working with science and environmental groups to ensure that the Scottish creel fishery is sustainable.

Maerl beds

Scottish Creel Fishermen's Federation : Maerl

Maerl is a form of seaweed known as coralline algae. It is rosy pink when alive, but more familiar to the public in its bleached white form when its lime rich skeleton washed up as sand on the Scottish coast. Maerl forms beds which provide an important habitat for juvenile fish and shellfish, especially scallops which have a high commercial value. Maerl is extremely vulnerable to physical damage.

Flame shell reef

Scottish Creel Fishermen's Federation : Flame Shell

The flames shell (Limaria hians) grow in ‘nests’ submerged in the substrate. Great numbers of these nests can be found together in beds that stabilise and raise the seabed, creating important habitat for spat fall, and a secure hiding place for invertebrates and the juvenile stages of fish and crustaceans. Large beds are now rare due to mechanical disturbance, the best beds can be found off the west coast of Scotland.

Sea Pens

Scottish Creel Fishermen's Federation : Sea Pen

Sea pens of different species are often found in the same soft muddy habitats that are home to prawns.

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