SGA FISHING GROUP RESPONSE TO WILD FISHERIES REVIEW RECOMMENDATIONS.
“We are pleased the report recognises the implications of unregulated netting activity when salmon stocks are low.
“Rod anglers have shown, through record voluntary uptake of catch and release policies in recent years, that they can fish sustainably and still contribute to a healthy fish stock.
“What the introduction of a science-based licence to kill fish will do is bind everyone to the same principle of sustainable management, whether using a rod or a net, something our members feel has been lacking in recent times. We hope the government support this recommendation fully.
“In terms of rod licences, we do not disagree with the concept and are fully supportive of measures which will make angling appealing to more young people. However, we have doubts over how such a system can be policed.
“Moving forward, we have real concerns that the views and knowledge of our working members on the rivers will become lost in a national body top-heavy with civil servants and scientists.
“If the national body is to remain credible and effective, it needs to take into account the knowledge and experience of people on the rivers.
“While the report touches upon the affects of aquaculture on wild fish stocks, we are disappointed it does not recommend intervention measures when operators are known to be breaching environmental standards.”