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The waters off the coast of Berwickshire, in the southeast of Scotland, are some of the most biodiverse and productive in the UK. 

Close to the Berwickshire shore, kelp forests grow thick and wild while, in deeper waters, soft corals and anemones carpet rocky reefs. Converging cold and warm water currents provide an unusual diversity of marine life. Cup corals share space alongside Arctic wolffish and pods of bottlenose dolphins, giving scientists an opportunity to monitor the effects of climate change within a marine protected area.

Sadly, reports of unlawful fishing by trawlers in the static gear-only part of the Berwickshire Marine Reserve are common. Reports of illegal fishing within marine protected areas are not unique to this coastline. Data obtained from the Scottish Government revealed there have been 112 reports of incursions into Scotland’s protected areas over the past four years. None of these incursions has been prosecuted.

At a national level, BLUE has been calling on the Scottish Government to govern its waters and protect its rich biodiversity for the benefit of all users. On the ground, BLUE is working in collaboration with the local fishing community and the Berwickshire Marine Reserve to implement our bottom-up approach to management, developed in Lyme Bay.


Key stats

112 reports of incursions into Scotland’s protected areas

1st voluntary reserve in Scotland

Over 45,000 nesting sea birds 

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