The Scottish Government are proceeding with their decision to introduce a blanket ban on salmon taking for every fishing method for at least a year on the River Annan and the River Nith.
The ban will be enforced on April 1st this year, and comes despite the Scottish Government’s failure to undertake fish counting on the rivers.
The Scottish Government’s evidence is largely based on fish counts from only four rivers in Scotland (North Esk, Beauly, Awe and Dee), and rod catches, which is largely dependent on angling effort.
It’s sparked a furious response from Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray, who has branded the ban as an “attack on the regions fishing industry”.
“This is a total sham from the SNP. They have failed to come up with any genuine research for our regions rivers, and yet are forcing through this ban anyway. What makes matters worse is that they claimed that they would fully engage with stakeholders in our region. Local angling and fishing clubs have done so, and presented sound research to the Scottish Government. The response has been to totally brush the submissions aside and continue with this attack on the regions fishing industry.
“Atlantic salmon conservation is of course vitally important. But local angling associations are already doing fantastic work in encouraging catch and release. They’re now being punished because of the guesswork of individuals sitting in Edinburgh. But this is also about other repercussions for our region. Travelling fishermen have previously frequented our region in good numbers. They would stay overnight in local B&B’s and Hotels, and spend money in local businesses. Who knows what kind of consequences this ban is going to have on our local economy.”
NOTES TO THE EDITOR:
The Scottish Government’s plans can be found here: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Wild-salmon-conservation-216d.aspx