The Scottish Government: To reverse the decision by the Salmon Net Fishing Association of Scotland [SNFAS] to resume net fishing in the spring after a 14 year voluntary cessation.
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1. Wild Salmon numbers are at an all time low, particularly fish entering our rivers in spring. The voluntary agreement above along with Catch and Release by anglers has seen this particular group of fish , at best, “hold their own”! To begin netting at this time of the year again would do irreparable damage to this early running group/cohort collectively known as spring fish.
2. If we have no fish entering our rivers in the early part of the year then many full time jobs will be threatened as revenue from those early anglers is lost. In 2003 "Salmon Angling" was found to be worth £74 Million to the Scottish economy, supporting 2800 full time jobs, mainly in rural areas with extremely fragile economies. A shorter season will see those full time jobs become part time, attracting, not young families, but older people to do a seasonal job.
3. The support industry we have for salmon fishing in Scotland would also suffer; from tackle shops, to tea shops. Petrol stations, hotels, guest houses, B&Bs and not forgetting all their suppliers! Although we have no new figures, to the Scottish Economy, salmon fishing will now be worth around double that of the figure above.
4. We are not talking about a few nets-men and wealthy landowners here. No, we are talking about the jobs of 2800 ordinary people, their families and the longevity of an extraordinarily “Scottish” way of life; a way of life with so much, yet untapped tourism potential. To threaten the livlihoods of many for that of few makes no sense at all.
5. The Scottish Government will only support the netting of wild salmon when a "Harvestable Surplus Occurs" FACT. This is certainly not the case with Spring Salmon, or, some would argue - Summer or Autumn Salmon.
6. Calling a halt this madness will at least give those remaining fish a "chance" to spawn and in doing so producing the next generation, which hopefully, we will manage better than in the past.
More information and reading on the background to this petition and also points for online discussion, can be found here -
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