OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith the new salmon fishing season opening across Scotland during the next few weeks, the Association of Salmon Fishery Boards (ASFB), in a radical new policy move, is advocating that no salmon be killed in Scotland – either by nets or rods – before May 15th.

Alasdair Laing, Chairman of ASFB, said: “Numbers of returning adults are so low that some stocks of spring salmon are close to, or below, being self-sustaining; the earliest running fish are the most vulnerable. It is a well-established management principle that breeding fish should not be killed where a stock is threatened or vulnerable. On that basis it is the ASFB recommendation that no fish should be killed before May 15th. Where local evidence demonstrates that additional protection is required, District Salmon Fishery Boards (DSFBs) may wish to maintain a zero exploitation policy for a longer period. Over recent years very high levels of catch and release have been achieved during the spring, largely through voluntary policies and we are encouraging all DSFBs to ensure that their conservation policies reflect this position”.