The Scottish Government have issued a press release relating to Wild Fisheries Reform
Fisheries Management Scotland have welcomed the clarity provided by the Cabinet Secretary’s recent statement on wild fisheries reform.
Dr Alan Wells, Fisheries Management Scotland Chief Executive said: “It is clear that resourcing a reformed system of fisheries management remains the key barrier to progress. We have consistently highlighted that the current fisheries management system is underfunded. The proposed broadening of the scope of management to an all-species remit, and the associated greater demand on enforcement activity was always going to require additional funding streams to progress.
“It is important to emphasise that the fisheries management sector has diverted significant resources towards contributing to the reform process to date. The Stakeholder Reference Group, and the five specific working groups established to inform the process, have all benefited from significant input and investment of time from across our community. This also represents a significant opportunity cost as that time was diverted from other activities.
“We retain an ambition to ensure that Scotland maintains and builds upon its world class fisheries. Central to this is a need to encourage and develop participation in angling for all ages.
“We remain committed to working constructively with the Scottish Government to ensure that the considerable work undertaken by our community to date was not in vain. We hope that a re-focused programme of reform will present us with an opportunity to look afresh at the progress made to date, and prioritise those elements of the reform process that offer the greatest benefits to fisheries management. Ideally this process will result in a system through which local management is empowered and supported to achieve the best outcomes for fish and fisheries.
“We also consider that this is an opportune moment for Scottish Ministers to focus efforts on the wide range of pressures currently facing Scotland’s fish and fisheries. Most of these pressures are out with the control of fishery managers but may have a significant negative impact, particularly on our iconic and famous salmon and sea trout fisheries.”