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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-17938: Michelle Ballantyne (South Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 31 July 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to preserve fish stocks in the River Tweed.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 14 August 2018

Under the terms of The Scotland Act 1998 (River Tweed) Order 2006 the River Tweed Commission is empowered, amongst other things, to protect and improve salmon and freshwater fisheries in the Tweed district, and to preserve and increase salmon and freshwater fish in the district.

In addition, the Scottish Government introduced conservation measures for Atlantic salmon in April 2016, and stocks are assessed annually. The most recent assessment showed that the exploitation of salmon stocks on the Tweed remains sustainable, allowing for the retention of any salmon caught in the river in the 2018 season, outwith the close time. The Tweed Commission does, however, have additional management measures in place to protect stocks and maintain this position.

The Commission has also applied to Scottish Ministers for a change to the annual close time order for the Tweed which would have the effect of requiring all salmon caught by rod and line before 1 June each year to be returned under catch and release arrangements, and would prohibit netting until the same date. A public consultation on this proposal ended on 12 July and officials are currently considering the representations received.

Finally, The Rivers Tweed and Eye Protection (Renewal) Order 1991, as varied in 1994, prohibits fishing for or taking freshwater fish in inland waters in the area without legal right or written permission from someone having such a right.