Illegal scallop dredging in Marine Protected Areas



You may have seen David Ainsley on TV talking about having recently seen a boat apparently scallop dredging in the Marine Protected area around the Garvellachs.

Many ScotSAC divers will be familiar with this area and be aware of the recovery the seabed has undergone over the years when the area has been protected from scallop dredging.

Following a meeting in Oban which included many interested parties such as scallop divers, sports divers , creel fishers and Coastal Community groups a statement has been prepared and sent to Rosanna Cunningham and Fergus Ewing and other appropriate politicians.

There are existing laws to protect these areas and they are not being enforced. 

David believes there have been nearly 100 reports of suspected illegal dredging in MPAs between August 2015 and May 2018, but there have been very few prosecutions and only very small fines.  Marine Scotland seem to be very reluctant to pursue these illegal activities.

ScotSAC has added it’s support to the statement but if anyone wants to lobby MSPs individually please feel free.




The new  BS EN ISO 18119:2018 Gas Cylinders-Seamless steel and seamless aluminium-alloy cylinders and tubes – Periodic inspection and testing has been issued which supersedes BS EN 1968:2002 and BS EN 1802:2002

The standard recommends:

Local regulations will specify the interval of periodic inspection and test. In the absence of any local regulation as a guide, an internal examination every year with a periodic inspection test as 5 yearly intervals should be carried out. However, if on completion of a risk assessment and the specific use of a cylinder indicates that there is a low risk of internal degradation then the interval for carrying out an internal examination can be increased to a maximum of 2.5 years.’

The last sentence was inserted at the last minute by the concerted efforts of the UK Recreational diving community, who have also prepared the attached Risk Assessment, which will mean that for the majority of ScotSAC members the current 2.5 year cycle will remain provided the good practice noted in the Risk Assessment is followed.

Members should be aware that these regulations will require cylinders to be tested annually unless compliance with best practice outlined in the risk assessment can be demonstrated.

Risk Based Assessment of Cylinder Internal Examination Periodicity

2018 Scottish Dive Conference



The 2018 Scottish Dive Conference will be held on 4th November at Stirling University from 11am until 5pm.

2018 Scottish Dive Conference Poster


Tickets are £20 on the day but can be purchased from our website at a reduced cost of £18.

Order your ticket here

Concessions are available for students and members who have volunteered to help out on the day.

Concession tickets are £10 and can be ordered here

Oxygen administration/heart start/first aid course


The next O2 Heart start course will be held on Sunday the 11th November 2018.  If you would like to attend the course please contact for further details.

Rescue and Lifesaving


Please note that the Sports Diver Lecture entitled - Rescue and Lifesaving V3 has been updated in line with current recommendations.

ScotSAC Training Materials now contain the updates.