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05/12/14 09:56

Stronger control on killing wild salmon

Kill licence consultation in 2015.

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.

Notes to editors

The Programme for Government published last week confirmed Scottish Ministers are considering the Wild Fisheries Review in depth and plan to consult in Spring 2015 on broad policy options for a new management system, followed by consultation on a draft Wild Fisheries Bill before the end of the parliamentary session.

This consultation on introducing a kill licence will run separately from that exercise.