Date lodged: 20 April 2017
To ask the Scottish Government how it monitors the netting of wild salmon and, in order to aid stock recovery of salmon and sea trout in freshwater fisheries, what action it is taking to limit the practice.
Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 2 May 2017
The Conservation of Salmon (Scotland) Regulation 2016 prohibits the retention of salmon in coastal waters. In practice this means that commercial salmon netting stations can no longer operate in coastal waters. The Scottish Government committed to review the prohibition within three years of it coming into force – a review that will be supported by some additional science to identify the spatial extent of influence of mixed-stock fisheries, which is anticipated to start in June this year.
Unlike coastal netting stations, those engaged in river and/or estuary netting may retain salmon depending on the conservation status of each stock. This is defined by the probability of the salmon stock meeting its conservation limit over a five-year period.
Currently there are no specific conservation measures for sea trout which, unlike salmon, is not a protected species. We will keep this situation under review.