Tayside fishing industries in limbo after cyber attack on SEPA

The cyber-attack which continues to affect SEPA IT systems is impacting on fisheries management projects – the Dundee Courier report below provides a focus on how it is affecting the work of the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board and fisheries on the River Tay.

Tayside fishing businesses have been left in limbo for nearly two months after Sepa was targeted in a major cyber attack on Christmas Eve.

The security breach has left the organisation unable to access a range of services, including its own email servers, since the festive season.

The cyber attack has also left business unable to request permits for work along the river Tay or to see water levels which can give them advanced notice of flood risks.

Claire Mercer Nairn, of Meikleour Fishing, said: “We’ve put in several applications to get permission to do some work which would be good to get done during lockdown. But it’s very difficult to get anything from Sepa at the moment. For licences it has started to be a problem and I’m worried about the water levels.”

Dr David Summers, director of the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board, said projects with Sepa on the Tay and Earn had been at a standstill for months.

He said: “There’s been two months of nothing. It’s quite annoying.

“There was a number of projects that we were doing with Sepa before Christmas that we would have expected the consultations to be back by now but we haven’t heard anything.”

The national  water body has warned the setbacks could continue for many months.