Friday, 22 April 2016

SGA FISHING GROUP- THANK YOU FROM CHAIRMAN

Attendees at the SGA Fishing Group meeting in Perth.

SGA Chairman Alex Hogg would like to thank all participants who attended the SGA Fishing Group meeting last night (April 21st) at the SGA office in Perth.
There were introductory talks from Alex, representative Duncan Ferguson, and SGA Fishing Group Ambassador Charlie Whelan before the meeting moved onto fisheries reform and future group campaigns.
The attendance was excellent, with people coming from as far as the Isle of Mull, despite it being a busy time for all on the rivers. There is much important work to do and now a clear plan for moving forward.

The group would like to thank all those who put their names forward for stakeholder group cover within the Wild Fisheries Reform process, appreciating that, by pooling resources, busy people can still achieve. For those who could not make it, we would still like to hear from anyone who may be interested in sitting as an SGA Fishing Group representative on the Wild Fisheries Reform working group addressing Ghillie and Bailiff Continuous Professional Development (CPD). The idea is to avoid time-onerous commitments, so sharing work will be the way forward. The more people we have willing to do a bit to help the cause, the more success and impact we will have with the time and talents at our disposal. If you want to know more about the group or lend your knowledge and experience to the above working group, contact the office on carol@scottishgamekeepers.co.uk

At the meeting it was agreed the group will come together four times per year and that the meetings would move around the country to give everyone an equal chance to attend. It was also agreed that a forum will be established where all river workers represented within the group will be given the chance to air their views equally and freely on all group matters- at any time- in order to agree common positions and SGA Fishing Group campaign objectives. Meeting dates and venues can also be decided here, when this forum is set up (everyone will be informed when this is done and invites sent out).

Much progress was made on improvements to the SGA Fishing Group Draft response to the Scottish Government Wild Fisheries Bill consultation. Areas of particular concern were around funding and assets, enforcement accountability and how science will be used within any new structure.
These refinements will be added in the coming days and a final draft published, here. The link to the first draft (without additions from last night) is now corrected and can be viewed, here: http://news.scottishgamekeepers.co.uk/2016/04/sga-fishing-groups-draft-of-wild.html
(apologies for error in first news story- now corrected).

Should anyone still wish to feed into this process ahead of the deadline of May 2nd, please contact the office on carol@scottishgamekeepers.co.uk
Thanks to those who have done so, already. Your input is vital.

The attendees also set the agenda for moving forward beyond the reform process, highlighting political activity, in particular, which will be put in place following the Scottish elections next month.
One of the principal shared concerns was how we get future generations on the riverbank to ensure an industry- which currently brings around £110m to Scotland- is sustained, including the jobs that go with it.

SGA Chairman Alex Hogg said: "It was great to see the passion, commitment and the combined knowledge of everyone in the room last night. I'd like to thank everyone for taking the time to attend.
"As soon as the group was formed last year, it was heads down and straight into Wild Fisheries reform. Last night was the first opportunity to draw breath, get everyone together and look at the wider issues affecting river workers and angling in Scotland today. It is clear there is more than enough knowledge and experience in the group to make a difference and we would encourage more to come on board and strengthen the group going forward."

If you would like to join the SGA Fishing Group or find out more, contact the office on 01738 587 515.