The Scottish Government has announced plans to launch a consultation 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 per cent across the season.
Salmon & Trout Association Scotland (S&TA(S)) welcomed the move, with chairman, Hugh Campbell Adamson, commenting: “We warmly welcome this bold move by Scottish Government. This announcement signals an acknowledgment and confirmation by Government that our wild salmon stocks are under considerable pressure and that they need as much protection as possible from indiscriminate killing.
“If this proposal is adopted and a licensing system is introduced in 2016, it will go a very considerable way towards ensuring that Scotland honours its international conservation obligations, particularly under the NASCO treaty”.
Environment Minister Aileen McLeod said: “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.”