Scottish Government considers wild salmon fishing restrictions

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 28 September 2015 in News

Scottish Government considers wild salmon fishing restrictions in response to population decline

The Scottish Government is considering restricting fishing of wild salmon in response to declines in the population.

It will launch a consultation to consider measures such as prohibiting fishing outside estuary areas for three years, and managing salmon fishing on an annual basis by categorising fishery districts and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs).

The Government will also consider steps to reduce killing of salmon where they are “in moderate conservation status”.


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Fishing will be restricted to catch and release only in areas where salmon are in poor conservation status.

Government figures show 93 per cent of rod caught spring salmon were released in 2014, as was 82 per cent of the annual rod catch.

Environment minister Dr Aileen McLeod said the Government has moved away from the idea of an individual licensing system and will not be pursuing the introduction of any charging regime.

She said: “The marked decline in wild salmon stocks warrants a serious response and the Scottish Government is required under European rules to ensure our salmon fisheries are sustainable and compliant.

“Restrictions on our fisheries are never taken lightly but action to conserve stocks is, in the long term, essential to protect the sustainability of the communities and ecosystems that they support.”

There will now be a further 28 day consultation period to hear views on these revised proposals, with further details due to be published later this week. 

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