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Scotland rules out rod licence

Scotland rules out rod licence

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has announced today (February 3) that proposals to introduce rod licences and a new wild fisheries levy will not be carried forward.

Following a consultation on draft provisions for a Wild Fisheries (Scotland) Bill and draft Wild Fisheries Strategy, the Scottish Government has also ruled out the criminalisation of freshwater fishing without written permission, and the proposal to overhaul the structure and remit of District Salmon Fishery Boards.

In a press release entitled 'Protecting the rights of anglers' the press release goes on to say that "The Scottish Government will facilitate‎ work streams which encourage, empower and support the modernisation of fishery management, including the piloting of voluntary board mergers to identify any existing legislative issues. It will also develop a fishery management plan to trial any changes with boards and will also explore potential freshwater conservation provisions ahead of the introduction of a Bill to Parliament.

Stressing that the government was keen to ensure that anglers in Scotland will be shielded from increased costs, Ms Cunningham said: “The Scottish Government is committed to supporting our famous and valuable wild fisheries, to modernise our fishery management structures and to establish a more secure and sustainable future for this vital sector.

“Our Wild Fisheries Bill will build on our significant conservation achievements to date, including the annual salmon conservation measures, Spring Conservation Orders, and the moratorium on coastal mixed stock fishery netting for three years.

“However it’s important that we represent the interests of our anglers, that’s why we have listened to the sector’s concerns around increasing costs and restricting access to fisheries and are ruling out the introduction of rod licences and a freshwater levy.

“We’ve heard through the consultation that these steps would limit the opportunities for our anglers and potentially discourage young people from taking part. Over and above this we will work with the angling community to identify ways to increase participation and to improve engagement across the sector. 

“I am grateful for the considerable time and energy that the wild fisheries sector has given to date to help inform the programme of reform. We will continue to work closely with our stakeholders to make sure the legislation that is ultimately brought forward is robust and fit for purpose, so that anglers have confidence in the management and development of the fisheries that they depend on.”

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