Designate salmon as a "Sportfish".

Why do we not take on the already successful idea developed in the United States and declare certain species such as Salmon [& Seatrout & possibly Bass] as a "Sport Fish" species. No commercial fishing to be allowed either at sea [within territorial waters] or within the estuary or river. The economic value of live salmon as a sporting quarry vastly exceeds the value of its' carcase on a fishmonger's slab & by endangering the local populations the value of angling tourism & all the jobs it supports & wider economic benefits it brings to often remote rual areas would be lost - a long with the distinct genetic strain of salmon unique to, & adapted to, the individual rivers. Sport fishing with rod and line would be the only pressure and this could be coupled with local Catch & Release regulations/ bag limits where individual populations are classed as being below optimum levels; or for specific runs of fish - such as spring runs of salmon which require protection to recover to healthy stock levels.

Whilst netting is permitted in any form declared catches will always be below the actual catch & the only way to prevent this over expolitation is by prohibiting any and all commercial fishing for salmon in Scottish waters, both fresh water & salt water.

Why the contribution is important

Because this is a relatively simple, deliverable, enforcable & effective means of protecting wild fish [Salmon & any other species so designated] stocks which would have immediate benefits. In addition it would provide long term benefits for a sustainable surplus of salmon which will protect & further develop Scotland's economically important Salmon fishing Tourism industry; thereby protecting jobs in remote areas which often have limited employment opportunities as well as supporting other areas such as financially marginal farms etc by way of holiday cottage lets, B&B accomodation etc - & extending the season for these well beyond the traditional family summer holiday period.

The simple announcement that this was introduced would put Scotland at the forefront of Salmon conservation & would draw support from the angling community world wide - which would be a perfect time to market Scotland as a Salmon fishing destination & further develope tourism of the back of this.

Any job losses [which would be minimal] from the cessation of commercial salmon fishing would more than be off-set by the new jobs created [& existing jobs protected] both directly in the angling industry & in the wider boost to tourism in Scotland.

by Tyke on July 23, 2015 at 01:52PM

Current Rating

Average score : 4.3
Based on : 14 votes


  • Posted by AlisonAlston July 23, 2015 at 15:06

    I think this is a very good idea, and a chance for this Scottish Government to actually make a gigantic step forward and become a benchmark country for Atlantic salmon conservation with minimal capital cost, a real 'progressive' change.
  • Posted by whitehouse July 23, 2015 at 16:22

    I agree with both. I would definitely include sea trout along with the salmon.

     While killing salmon and sea trout on our rivers is currently classed as unsustainable, to licence and kill them in nets is completely unacceptable. Let's have science-led, conservation based proposals rather than political proposals.

    The bigger picture both in terms of employment throughout our catchments and incoming angler expenditure contributing to rural Scotland is what should be steering the final decisions.
  • Posted by marinescotland3 July 23, 2015 at 17:18

    This is an interesting thread. What are other people's views?
  • Posted by ms July 23, 2015 at 17:50

    Salmon as well as Seat Trout must be seen to be "Sportfish", possibly other species too. Etiquette to-day makes it unacceptable to kill a salmon caught in Scottish waters. If however a licence is allowed I believe this will lead to more salmon being killed. Further, some identifiable groups need additional protection, eg, hen fish at certain times of the season, fish of a certain size and probably our early run or Spring salmon.
  • Posted by Riverman July 23, 2015 at 19:14

    Brilliant idea, best I've heard in a long time, salmon and sea trout fishing generates a great deal of income in Scotland and these proposals possibly risk impacting on this. This looks like national catch and release by the back door (and we've seen on the River Dee this season what a failure that policy has been).
  • Posted by Greenheart July 23, 2015 at 20:39

    Great idea.
  • Posted by scaredforsalmon July 24, 2015 at 11:21

    Brilliant idea, but still need to deal with protected predator problems and fish farms. They not only contribute to disease but the feeding of them is depleting the seas of vital food for not only slamon & seatrout but sea birds and other fish species. Sandeels are one of the most important species for the survival of salmon at sea.

    I think though that The "Iconic" status of Scottish wild salmon is at stake, already in most salmon fishermens eyes already lost but instead of making this whole issue one of tickle the surface by protecting the 12% of rod caught salmon not already returned, we should be protecting their status as a sport fish and not a harvestable food source. Well done whoever proposed this.
  • Posted by sjrobinson July 24, 2015 at 11:42

    Agree 100%
  • Posted by bradan July 25, 2015 at 08:24

    Brilliant idea and one most anglers would undoubtedly support.
  • Posted by tweedfisher July 25, 2015 at 15:09

    This comment has been removed by a moderator.

  • Posted by marinescotland4 July 29, 2015 at 12:15

    One of the key strengths of this Dialogue is the exchange of views. It’s clear that many, if not most, of those participating have significant experience and hold strong views. However, it goes without saying that – in a discussion like this - there must be room for everyone to express their opinions, however diverse. In our view, this comment does not assist that process, which is the reason that it’s been removed.
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