RSPCA paid over £500,000 to back Scottish salmon industry

20 Feb

Please see this link to a recent article by the Sunday Times exposing what many would see as an insupportable financial benefit to the RSPCA from Scottish salmon farmers. The tweets further down the blog probably reflect the views of many of us.

The same blogger has a pretty comprehensive trail here of reported welfare issues in Scottish salmon farms.

Please make sure that as many people as possible are aware of this by circulating it – not just to fishermen, but to those who buy farmed salmon and the wider public at large.

The more people who are aware of the situation, the greater will be the pressure for corrective action.


29 Jan

Following the trial last summer of modified beach nets, the Environment Agency has now launched a consultation on a potential extension to the Yorkshire and North East coastal sea trout netting season.

The EA’s own documents attached to this consultation state:

“The latest assessments of sea trout stocks contributing to the coastal net fishery indicate the Coquet, Wear, Tees and Yorkshire Esk sea trout stocks are probably at risk.

Rod catches have shown a marked downward trend, falling to historically low levels on a number of rivers. The Tyne is assessed as probably not at risk, although the sea trout rod catch also shows a downward trend since 2010.

In Scotland, sea trout from the River Tweed catchment contribute to catches in the North East coastal net fishery. Since 2010, rod catches of sea trout on the Tweed have shown a declining trend, with the 2018 rod catch of 775 being the lowest since 1984.”

In light of this decline in catches and with nearly all major rivers in our area probably at risk, it is surely folly to continue netting for sea trout, let alone contemplate extending the season.



Please take a few minutes to make your views known – that really is all it will take. You can have your say on-line, or post the attached Response form to Jon Shelley

This consultation runs from 20th January to 21st February – do not miss this chance to have your say!

Consultation on stocking of salmon rivers

12 Jan

There is a petition ongoing regarding stocking of salmon rivers in Scotland. The deadline for submissions is 28th January. The reason for this petition is to urge Marine Scotland, a government agency, to undertake a full and formal consultation before announcing their policy – something you would have thought was only common sense?

The background to this petition, brought by the Scottish Gamekeeper Association, is noted below, together with a link to the petition. Whatever your views about stocking salmon rivers, we would urge you to support this petition which would require a properly informed decision to be made bearing in mind all stakeholders.

“The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) Fishing Group believes Marine Scotland, a government agency, should carry out a full and formal stakeholder consultation before announcing a definitive policy on the stocking of Scotland’s salmon rivers.

The pros and cons of stocking salmon rivers are debated. The SGA Fishing Group believes the interests of conservation are critical but that these interests also ought to be balanced against the need to preserve viable wild fisheries in Scotland, with the jobs and economic benefits for local communities which are attached to them.
Scotland boasts salmon rivers and angler experiences which are known the world over, generating £135m per year in angler spend.

The SGA Fishing Group believes that, done properly with agreed protocols, and with local stakeholder knowledge having a role to play alongside the best science, Marine Scotland can arrive at a policy beneficial to both conservation and angling communities.

The concern is that Marine Scotland is to usher in a rushed policy without having undergone a full and comprehensive stakeholder consultation, as would be expected when decisions of magnitude are taken.

To date, Marine Scotland has formed an outline policy position and has then taken the idea out to river board representatives in the expectation of building approval before announcing a decision.

The position remains contentious and the SGA Fishing Group believes – as is the case with all good policy – that all stakeholders should be consulted properly and formally before decisions are taken.

Millions of pounds have been invested in stocking facilities in Scotland. Investors, and those whose work makes these hatcheries operate, must be heard fully, along with the ghillies working in these systems. We therefore believe a full consultation is right and proper.”

Sign petition here

Predation by Cormorants and Goosanders

13 Nov

We all have views on the damage caused to fish in our rivers and still water fisheries by cormorants and goosanders.  There is now an opportunity for us to do something about it – here is an extract from the AT website:

“The Angling Trust and the Avon Roach Project have campaigned jointly for more than seven years to have the cormorant placed on the ‘General Licence’ enabling the legal right to better protect our vulnerable inland fish populations.

We have pushed for a review of the current woefully inadequate, restrictive and inflexible licensing regime, and now, finally, we have the opportunity to achieve the changes we seek and to better protect our fisheries. The Wild Birds General Licence Survey runs until December 5th and we need as many people as possible to take part by following the link and guidance below.”

If you want to read the whole article, it is here

You can find the survey here


To help with completing the survey The Angling Trust has produced a concise set of guidance notes which is attached as a PDF.AT suggested response


It might take you ten minutes or so to complete this survey, but please do this!  It is a great chance to change the licencing and allow better control of cormorants and goosanders.