Association of Salmon Fishery Boards welcome Scottish Government’s salmon conservation proposals

Leaping Salmon 2

NEWS RELEASE                23 July 2015

The Association of Salmon Fishery Boards (ASFB) have welcomed the proposals for a new conservation scheme for wild salmon stocks announced by Scottish Government today.

Under the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003 Scottish Government is proposing to introduce a licensing system for the killing of wild salmon in Scotland and to prohibit “the taking of salmon out-with estuary limits”. In essence this will mean the end of all coastal netting.

Full details of the Scottish Government proposals are available at http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Salmon-Trout-Coarse/fishreform/licence

The package, once it is approved by Ministers, will restrict the killing of any salmon to those fisheries that can provide evidence of a ’sustainable surplus’. It is recognised that fisheries operating on the open coast take fish from a number of ‘home’ rivers, and as such there is no current way of establishing whether the capture of such fish is sustainable. Salmon will now only be taken under licence and tags will need to be affixed to fish taken to demonstrate compliance with the new regulations.

Alasdair Laing, Chairman of ASFB said “We welcome these proposals, which provide a clear signal that Government are taking the threat to migratory fish populations posed by mixed stock fisheries seriously. We appreciate that the decision to move forward with these proposals has been a challenging one, but it is the right decision and is founded on good fishery management principles. The Association looks forward to engaging further on this process and ensuring that the licence and tagging system which will permit sustainable exploitation for other fisheries is based on good evidence”

ENDS

Issued by Brian Davidson on behalf of the ASFB For further information telephone Brian Davidson on 07584 484602.

Notes for editors

Coastal salmon nets (mixed stocks fisheries) indiscriminately exploit salmon, regardless of where they are heading or the strength of the various populations in their home rivers. They are completely non-selective, making the management of individual river stocks almost impossible. Mixed stock fisheries are contrary to sound evidence-based salmon management, as they have no way of discriminating between weaker or stronger stocks.

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Report on beavers in Scotland goes to Minister

12 June, 2015

Options for the future of beavers in Scotland have been outlined in a final report sent to the Scottish Government today (12 June) by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

The “Beavers in Scotland” report, published today, is one of the most thorough assessments ever done for a species reintroduction proposal. It provides a comprehensive summary of existing knowledge about the likely impact of beavers living in the wild in Scotland and options for their management, and sets out four scenarios for Scottish Ministers to consider. These range from full removal of all beavers to the widespread reintroduction of beavers across Scotland.

Ministers asked for the report to help them decide whether to permanently reintroduce beavers to Scotland.

The report draws on 20 years of work on beavers, including information from the Scottish Beaver Trial, a five-year trial reintroduction in Argyll which finished last May; the study of more than 150 beavers living in the wild in Tayside and work on the impact of beavers on salmon and trout and on areas of productive farmland. It also refers to the experiences that many other European and North American countries have had of living with beavers, presents findings on biodiversity and beavers and looks at where they might recolonise if allowed to stay.

Ian Ross, Chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage said: “The issues surrounding the potential for beaver reintroduction in Scotland have been the subject of intense investigation and discussion over the last 20 years. Over this time we’ve pulled together a significant amount of information, drawing on international as well as Scottish experience. The scenarios have been developed with a wide range of interested parties from across the land management, conservation and environmental sectors.

“The report sets out the links between the evidence gathered and the risks and benefits of the various options. It also considers management approaches to help mitigate the risks and maximise the benefits, should beavers be permanently reintroduced to Scotland. This comprehensive report will therefore help inform the decision on the future of beavers in Scotland.”

A number of independent scientific studies, reports and reviews on beavers have also been published. The findings are included in the Beavers in Scotland report.

ENDS

For media enquiries contact Nancy Fraser, SNH media & public relations officer on 0141 951 0809 / 0141 951 4488 or nancy.fraser@snh.gov.uk

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Initial response of the Association of Fishery Boards and the Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland to Scottish Government’s consultation paper on wild fisheries reform

Cromarty (news)

The Association of Fishery Boards (ASFB), which represents Scotland’s 41 district salmon fishery boards, and the Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland (RAFTS), representing 26 local Trusts, will engage constructively in the consultation process on a new management and regulatory system for salmon and freshwater fish, following the publication last week of the Scottish Government’s consultation paper on wild fisheries reform.

Alasdair Laing, Chairman of ASFB, said: “The consultation paper is an important document on broad policy options that will form the basis for debate on the future of wild fisheries management in Scotland. ASFB welcomes the opportunity to contribute constructively to the proposals for reform. We note and fully support the underlying concept that fisheries management must be evidence-based and we are encouraged by the Minister’s commitment to retaining the best elements of the current management arrangements. We now look forward to considering the detail and working with our members and our colleagues in RAFTS and Government to provide a professional view on any potential changes.”

Andrew Wallace, Chairman of RAFTS, said: “RAFTS welcomes the publication of the Wild Fisheries Reform consultation paper and looks forward to engaging constructively with the Scottish Government and others to ensure that any new system for managing Scotland’s unique freshwater fisheries and habitats, builds on the strengths of the current system and addresses some of its weaknesses. RAFTS is also encouraged to see that the consultation is stimulating a debate about how to find the best balance of responsibility between the private/third sector and Government and its agencies when developing ideas for a new system. We look forward to working with our members and our colleagues in ASFB and Government over the next few months.”

The consultation is available here:

http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Salmon-Trout-Coarse/fishreform/consultation

The consultation runs until 7 August. Scottish Government intends to publish a Bill on wild fisheries reform in spring 2016. It is envisaged that this will go through the parliamentary process following the Scottish Parliament elections in May 2016.

 

ENDS

Issued on behalf of ASFB and RAFTS by Andrew Graham-Stewart (telephone 01863 766767 or 07812 981531).

For further information please contact:

Brian Davidson, Director of ASFB, on 07584 484602.

Chris Horrill, Director of RAFTS, on 07585 600734

 

Editors’ notes

The Association of Salmon Fishery Boards (ASFB) is the representative body for Scotland’s 41 District Salmon Fishery Boards (DSFBs) including the River Tweed Commission (RTC), who have a statutory responsibility to protect and improve salmon and sea trout fisheries. Conservation of fish stocks, and the habitats on which they depend, is essential and many DSFB’s operate riparian habitat enhancement schemes and have voluntarily adopted ‘catch and release’ practices, which in some cases are made mandatory by the introduction of Salmon Conservation Regulations. ASFB creates policies that seek where possible to protect wider biodiversity and our environment as well as enhancing the economic benefits for our rural economy that result from angling. www.asfb.org.uk

Formed in 2005, Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland (RAFTS) is a leading independent freshwater conservation charity representing Scotland’s national network of rivers and fisheries Trusts and Foundations. RAFTS manages a range of core policy and project-driven objectives, including representing its 26 member Trusts and Foundations. RAFTS works with its members to implement a range of activities that include provision of evidence to inform wild fisheries management, removal of barriers to fish migration, habitat restoration, biosecurity and control of specific invasive non-native species. www.rafts.org.uk

ASFB & RAFTS

Suite 1F40 | 2 Commercial Street | Edinburgh, EH6 6JA

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Fishery Boards unite to lease Ythan estuary and coastal nets. Netting will not proceed in 2015 in the interests of conservation.

Following negotiations between local fishery boards and the Usan Salmon Company, commercial salmon and sea trout netting in the Ythan estuary and on the coast just to the south will not take place during 2015. The netting rights in question, which had been purchased by Usan in 2014, have not been exercised since 1997. There is very considerable concern locally that renewed netting would do significant damage to already depleted salmon and sea trout stocks.

Mark Andrew, Clerk to the Ythan District Fishery Board, said: “Usan, appreciating the sensitivities regarding netting in the Ythan, offered to refrain for the whole of the 2015 season if a compensation payment could be agreed. Following a successful negotiation we have now paid the company a considerable sum. In recognition of the mixed stocks nature of the fishery, four fishery boards have contributed – the Ythan, the Dee, the Don and the Spey”.

Mr Andrew continued: “This is an excellent example of fishery boards working together and pooling resources for the common good and in the interests of fish conservation both in the Ythan and further afield”.

Alastair Hume MBE, Honorary President and founding member of Aberdeen and District Angling Association (which owns several beats on the Ythan), commented: “We at the ADAA – as Scotland’s largest community-based angling organization – are immensely grateful to all four fishery boards which have joined forces to fund this deal. For this year at least the threat of renewed netting has been lifted”.

Mr Hume added: “The Ythan is known as the working man’s river and our fishings there are available to all our 1100 members. Any renewed netting would not only compromise their enjoyment but also jeopardize all the volunteer effort and funds our club has invested over the years to support fish conservation in the Ythan, particularly through the River Ythan Trust, which is at the forefront of salmon and sea trout conservation locally”.”.

ENDS

Issued by Andrew Graham-Stewart (telephone 01863 766767 or 07812 981531) on behalf the Ythan District Fishery Board. For further information, telephone Mark Andrew, Clerk to the Ythan DFB, on 01651 851664.

Notes for editors

1)  The Ythan District Fishery Board is empowered to protect, enhance and conserve salmon and sea trout and has a general duty to ensure the protection and enhancement of the fishery within the Ythan catchment. The Ythan has a strict conservation code with very limited bag limits. Anglers now release back into the water the great majority of fish they catch.

2)  Virtually all the river is either controlled by local angling associations or available at very modest cost.

3)  Aberdeen and District Angling Association grew from humble beginnings in 1946 to become Scotland’s premier angling club with 1,100 members and its own fishing beats on the Dee, Don and Ythan rivers. See www.adaa.org.uk

4)  Mixed stocks coastal netting stations indiscriminately catch any salmon passing by, regardless of where they are heading or the strength of the various populations in their home rivers. They are completely non-selective, making the management of individual river stocks almost impossible.

Ythan District Fishery Board

Estate Office

Mains of Haddo

Tarves

Ellon

Aberdeenshire AB41 7LD

Tel: 01651 851664

www.ythan.co.uk

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Sundown on the Deveron – barbeque and fundraising evening: 6 June

The Deveron, Bogie & Isla Rivers Charitable Trust is hosting a BBQ at Mayen Estate on the 6th June 2015 with an auction to raise funds for practical habitat restoration, predator control, Invasive non-native species control and the local schools programme.

The evening will also include the eagerly awaited launch of the new River Deveron Fisherman’s Map – Tom Ingleby Edition, which has been beautifully illustrated by Harley Miller and will be available to order.
Whether you are an angler and Deveron admirer, golfer or rugby/football fan there is a fantastic variety of Lots, many of which are not normally available to the general public. Everyone is welcome to join us for a fun, social evening at a beautiful spot on the side of the river courtesy of Mr & Mrs Alfie Cheyne of Mayen Estate, Rothiemay.

Tickets – £20 per person and include food and drink (dress casual).
To book please phone the Trust’s office with your name and address on 01466 711388
or email: richiemiller@deveron.org or robinvasey@deveron.org

AUCTION
Auction items can be viewed and bidding can be done online at www.deveron.org or by post if you are unable to join us on the evening. If you would like the Trust to bid on your behalf on the night please contact us. Otherwise we look forward to seeing you at Mayen.
Online bidding will close at midnight of Friday 5th June 2015.

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New salmon season on the Dee gets underway with benefactor Martin Gilbert of Aberdeen Asset Management making the first cast

Dee - Potarch (news)The start of the 2015 salmon fishing season on the River Dee will be celebrated on Monday February 2nd with an official opening ceremony on the riverbank by Potarch Bridge. Martin Gilbert, trailblazing local businessman and Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, will be the guest of honour and will formally open the season. Mr Gilbert has expressed his confidence in the River Dee, by committing considerable sums to the future of the north-east’s leading salmon river.

Mark Bilsby, River Director of the Dee District Salmon Fishery Board (DDSFB) and the River Dee Trust, said: “October 3rd 2014 was historic for the Dee. That day the first salmon ascended the Culter Dam in over 250 years, made possible by a fish pass we had installed on the dam just days earlier. This was funded entirely by the generosity of Martin Gilbert and Stewart Spence, owner of the Marcliffe Hotel.” Continue reading

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Paul Young to open the salmon fishing season on the River Tay, as statutory “no kill” for salmon before April comes into effect

C&R newsPaul Young, the well-known Scottish television actor and presenter, opens the salmon fishing season on the Tay at the Hilton Dunkeld House tomorrow (15 January). A ceremony, organised by the Hilton in conjunction with Dunkeld and Birnam Angling Association, the Dunkeld and Birnam Tourist Association and the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce and supported by the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board (TDSFB) and the Tay Foundation, will mark the start of the 2015 season.

The riverside reception by the Hilton Dunkeld House Hotel is open to all from 9 am and the formal opening of the river, accompanied by music and pipers, takes place at 9.30 am, with the first cast being taken by Paul Young. Continue reading

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Association of Fishery Boards reminds anglers of new statutory requirement to release all salmon caught before April

C&R newsAs the new salmon fishing season begins on many northern rivers, the Association of Salmon Fishery Boards (ASFB) is reminding anglers that it is now a legal requirement that all salmon caught before April are released back into the water. It is now illegal to kill a salmon between January and March.

This follows the Scottish Government’s Conservation Order to protect early-running spring salmon through mandatory catch and release, which became law on 9 January. See http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/marine/Salmon-Trout-Coarse/game/conservationreg

Northern rivers opening this week include the Moriston on 15 January, Kyle rivers (Carron, Oykel, Cassley, Shin) on 12 January, Helmsdale on 12 January, Thurso on 12 January, Halladale on 12 January, Naver on 12 January and Borgie on 12 January. Continue reading

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2014 winner of Scotland’s most prestigious angling award, the greatest honour in British gamefishing, announced

2014 Malloch winner - W Longstaff w 33 lbThe 2014 winner of the FishPal Malloch Trophy – for one of the largest salmon caught by an angler on a fly and safely returned during the year in Scottish waters – has been announced. The successful angler is Wayne Longstaff of Teesside for a fine spring salmon caught on the River Tweed.

Mr Longstaff, on being told of the decision of the FishPal Malloch Trophy Committee on December 17th, commented: “I have been salmon fishing for ten years now and this was my biggest fish to date by a long way. This ‘fish of a lifetime’ was superbly shaped, in prime condition and sea-liced. It swam off strongly after we had taken a very quick photograph”. Continue reading

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Stronger control on killing wild salmon

Leaping Salmon 3Scottish Government News Release
The killing of wild salmon could require a licence following a public consultation that will be launched early in the new year.

The consultation will seek views on a conservation measure to ban killing wild salmon except under licence, along with an accompanying carcass tagging scheme to help enforcement. The measure would apply to both anglers and netters and it is hoped that the new system would be in place for the 2016 season. Catch and release in the rod fishery already stands at 80% across the season.

The introduction of a kill licence was a key recommendation of the independent review of wild fisheries published last month. The review called for this issue to be given immediate consideration given the conservation status of wild salmon.

The Environment Minister Aileen McLeod said:
“This forthcoming consultation shows we are committed to meeting our obligations on salmon conservation by ensuring that killing by any method is sustainable. The Wild Fisheries Review report was published in October and recommended immediate action on this issue and I am pleased to be able to act quickly on one of their key recommendations. Salmon is a protected species under the Habitats Directive and we need to ensure that any killing is sustainable. Greater protection and enhancement of our stocks will enable us to maximise the socio-economic benefits that flow from them.”

“The detail of our proposal will be set out in the consultation paper but we intend that carcass tagging for any salmon killed will form part of the package of measures. This will also deliver on the commitment made during the passage of the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act 2013, and I believe it has a key role to play as an enforcement tool.

ASFB Comment
The Association of Salmon Fishery Boards welcomes the announcement that the Scottish Government intends to take action to ensure that the exploitation of Atlantic salmon is sustainable. We look forward to considering the fine detail of the proposals, and we will work proactively with the Scottish Government in the coming months to help deliver a workable system.

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