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

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”


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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