Cromarty (news)

The Association of Fishery Boards (ASFB), which represents Scotland’s 41 district salmon fishery boards, and the Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland (RAFTS), representing 26 local Trusts, will engage constructively in the consultation process on a new management and regulatory system for salmon and freshwater fish, following the publication last week of the Scottish Government’s consultation paper on wild fisheries reform.

Alasdair Laing, Chairman of ASFB, said: “The consultation paper is an important document on broad policy options that will form the basis for debate on the future of wild fisheries management in Scotland. ASFB welcomes the opportunity to contribute constructively to the proposals for reform. We note and fully support the underlying concept that fisheries management must be evidence-based and we are encouraged by the Minister’s commitment to retaining the best elements of the current management arrangements. We now look forward to considering the detail and working with our members and our colleagues in RAFTS and Government to provide a professional view on any potential changes.”

Andrew Wallace, Chairman of RAFTS, said: “RAFTS welcomes the publication of the Wild Fisheries Reform consultation paper and looks forward to engaging constructively with the Scottish Government and others to ensure that any new system for managing Scotland’s unique freshwater fisheries and habitats, builds on the strengths of the current system and addresses some of its weaknesses. RAFTS is also encouraged to see that the consultation is stimulating a debate about how to find the best balance of responsibility between the private/third sector and Government and its agencies when developing ideas for a new system. We look forward to working with our members and our colleagues in ASFB and Government over the next few months.”

The consultation is available here:

The consultation runs until 7 August. Scottish Government intends to publish a Bill on wild fisheries reform in spring 2016. It is envisaged that this will go through the parliamentary process following the Scottish Parliament elections in May 2016.



Issued on behalf of ASFB and RAFTS by Andrew Graham-Stewart (telephone 01863 766767 or 07812 981531).

For further information please contact:

Brian Davidson, Director of ASFB, on 07584 484602.

Chris Horrill, Director of RAFTS, on 07585 600734


Editors’ notes

The Association of Salmon Fishery Boards (ASFB) is the representative body for Scotland’s 41 District Salmon Fishery Boards (DSFBs) including the River Tweed Commission (RTC), who have a statutory responsibility to protect and improve salmon and sea trout fisheries. Conservation of fish stocks, and the habitats on which they depend, is essential and many DSFB’s operate riparian habitat enhancement schemes and have voluntarily adopted ‘catch and release’ practices, which in some cases are made mandatory by the introduction of Salmon Conservation Regulations. ASFB creates policies that seek where possible to protect wider biodiversity and our environment as well as enhancing the economic benefits for our rural economy that result from angling.

Formed in 2005, Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland (RAFTS) is a leading independent freshwater conservation charity representing Scotland’s national network of rivers and fisheries Trusts and Foundations. RAFTS manages a range of core policy and project-driven objectives, including representing its 26 member Trusts and Foundations. RAFTS works with its members to implement a range of activities that include provision of evidence to inform wild fisheries management, removal of barriers to fish migration, habitat restoration, biosecurity and control of specific invasive non-native species.


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