COVID-19: Move to resume angling in Scotland welcomed

Fisheries Management Scotland welcome the First Minister’s announcement today that angling activity can resume in Scotland in line with the phased approach to relaxing the current restrictions.

Dr Alan Wells, Chief Executive of Fisheries Management Scotland said, “We are very pleased that responsible angling will resume tomorrow. We have issued updated guidance to support fishery owners and anglers in complying with physical distancing rules to safeguard public health.

“Notwithstanding COVID-19, Atlantic salmon are already experiencing unprecedented challenges across their range – catches in Scotland have reached the lowest levels ever recorded and this iconic species is at crisis point. COVID-19 has created additional pressure and is having a significant impact on the income generated by Scotland’s world-renowned salmon and freshwater fisheries. COVID-19 restrictions introduced in March have meant that many prime salmon and trout fisheries across the country have been unable to operate at their peak time. This will have had a serious impact on the ability of these fisheries – including community angling clubs and associations – to generate revenue to support crucial fisheries management and conservation work.

“Our priority remains to ensure that financial support is available to alleviate the immediate issues faced by the fisheries management sector in Scotland. We are working closely with Scottish Government to address this. This will help maintain the resilience of local fisheries management structures and ensuring continuity of employment for the dedicated and professional members of staff across Scotland. We have committed to work with the Scottish Government to develop a Wild Salmon Strategy which will, in the longer term, provide a means of tackling the complex range of issues facing salmon in Scotland”.