The Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee visited Aberdeenshire and Montrose as part of their scrutiny of the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill, which is set to reform both wild and farmed fisheries.
In Aberdeenshire, MSPs heard about how the Dee District Salmon Board manages the salmon and trout stocks in the River Dee. The Committee also heard about an ambitious scheme to tackle climate change by planting native plant species around the river in a bid to reduce water temperatures and enhance salmon stocks in the River Dee. In Montrose, the Committee visited Usan Salmon Fisheries Ltd, a wild salmon fishery, and heard about how their traditional, family business operates. Members were also able to get some feedback from the company about how the legislation may impact on their operations.
Rob Gibson MSP, convener of the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee said: “The Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee are currently considering legislation that will affect both the farmed and freshwater fishing sectors. The fishing industry and wild angling sectors are an important source of employment in a number of areas in Scotland, including Aberdeenshire and Montrose. The preservation of Scotland’s seas and rivers are also critical for our environment.
“MSPs were delighted to see first-hand the work that goes into managing the salmon and trout in the River Dee. The Committee also heard about an ambitious scheme to plant native tree species in an effort to tackle climate change and preserve the salmon stocks in the river.
“MSPs also met with a family owned wild salmon fishery and learned more about their operations. The committee was also able to understand how the proposed legislation would impact on the company. This is invaluable for the committee’s scrutiny of this legislation and for the committee to determine if the balance of the reforms is right.