SG should implement a Carcass Tagging Tracability Program similar to Horse Passports or Beef Cattle Tag Numbers

At the moment the SG carcass tagging proposal has a serious flaw in it's design. It puts too much trust into the netsmen who have already large quotas and unfortunately have easy access and the ability to catch and sell untagged salmon on the black market and to hotels and other food establishments willing to break the law.

This  "trust" also applies to any angler or anyone who catches and kills salmon without tagging them who then sells them on illegally.

The low level of policing and resource spent checking allows for this illegal process to happen.

In Scotland all beef cattle are tagged at a young age and throughout their lives their location is recorded and traceable and when slaughtered are recorded as such.  The same applies to horses with horse passports.

In my opinion - the SG should create legislation to ensure ALL CARCASS TAG ARE RETURNED TO THE GOVERNMENT IF USED OR UNUSED BY THE FINAL OWNER OF EACH DISPATCHED FISH.  The SG should make it illegal to be in possession of un- carcass tagged salmon by anyone - including fish markets, traders and hoteliers, and individuals, etc.

This regime will provide accountability for all tags, reduce the need for trust and significantly reduce illegal over- catching and killing by nets men and anyone else selling in carcass tagged fish illegally. It will also reduce the amount of establishments or individuals buying or handling in carcass tagged fish a this would be an offence.

The SG dept would administer this and ensure tags are returned and traceability would provide data as to who and where carcasses finally end up being utilised for food consumption. It would provide a fish accounting system and give truly accurate figures of how many salmon are dispatched each year in scotland. Unused tags should if course, also be returned and this should form part of the kill licence regulations.












Why the contribution is important

Traceability, accountability, data collection and to reduce illegal selling or buying of Scottish Atlantic Salmon globally.

by Electrofisher on July 25, 2015 at 06:02AM

Current Rating

Average score : 3.0
Based on : 2 votes


  • Posted by bradan July 25, 2015 at 07:38

    I cannot see how this can possibly work when it is proposed that tags are issued to clubs and riparian owners and not to individuals. How would a club enforce the returning of a tag on a visiting, or indeed any, angler?

    If tags are going to be introduced then it would make more sense to issue them to individuals as is done in Northern Ireland. That pratice is of course linked to a rod licence which is a entirely different question and one the the WFR doesn't seem to have addressed.

    Beware the law of unintended consequences. I've witnessed multiple and stale fish kiled in NI where some angers regard the tags as 'right to kill quota' meaning that more fish can be killed that might otherwise be the case.
  • Posted by Electrofisher July 25, 2015 at 19:45

    The onus would be put on the angler to send back the tags by law, not by the club or proprietor. They would just pass them on and record the transaction to inform the SG who was issued the tags.

    If this is not done, proprietors will simply ask for the carcass tags back from the anglers who don't catch, to give them to their next customer, which will only lead to the maximisation of kill tags used by any proprietor and maximum fish killed.

    The tags should be passed down from SG to proprietor to angler in a one way fashion. Just as is the current set up now. No one passes their permit onto the next guy do they so more fish can be killed.

    The legislation would put the onus on the tag holder - ie. ultimately the angler.
  • Posted by Electrofisher July 25, 2015 at 20:04

    My main point was to ensure net caught fish are traceable.
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