An unfortunate incident from a dredging boat has led to the destruction of Scotland’s reef which served as a home to a multitude of clams. This reef is known to be the largest of its kind.
The damage done will unfortunately take decades to restore, since the dredging gear dragged through the reef twice by the scallop dredger in Loch Carron, western Scotland did immense damage. The dredging which was considered legal that time, has caused the large beds to become even rarer nowadays, leading to a permanent ban within the Loch.
But it looks like there has been a small bit of a silver lining from all this in that the disaster allowed for the reef to be studied and its scale to be revealed. Researchers found that the bed of the Loch housed approximately 250 million flame shells, which are uniquely-shaped saltwater bivalves that used to be abundant in the west coast of Scotland, as well as creatures like sea urchins and spider crabs.
Image Source: www.scotlandcorrespondent.com
Divers from the Scottish Natural Heritage have also explored and revealed that the bed in the Loch Carron reef is the largest of its kind, even two and a half times larger than the neighboring Loch Alsh.
The ill-fated dredging will affect the harvesting of scallops as well as the environmental value of the area. And these, along with the recent study of the reef and its size, will definitely spur debates on whether or not dredging will still be considered a good method in harvesting scallops world wide.