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SGA calls for hatchery debate

The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) Fishing Group has launched a parliamentary petition demanding a full stakeholder consultation on the future of stocking on Scotland’s salmon rivers. The SGA Fishing Group is the fishing section of The Scottish Gamekeepers Association, which has 5300 members in Scotland. There is a feeling among some gillies and river workers that Marine Scotland are against hatcheries and have developed a new position on stocking, in accordance with the complete lack of science to support the practice.
But the SCA is concerned that the fisheries scientists’ standpoint could become official government policy without proper consultation with gillies, riparian owners and hatchery investors and employees.
Tay gillie, Robert White, who launched the petition on behalf of the SGA Fishing Group, said: “The SGA Fishing Group is not necessarily pro-stocking. There are a mix of views on the subject, across Scotland, some for, some against.
“We don’t feel that is the right thing to do and ruling stocking out, or certainly making it increasingly more difficult, may prove to be too hasty.
“Some anglers in Scotland – worried at seeing their pastime eroded – favour hatcheries because they see rivers taking a proactive approach to the problem of less fish.
“There is also a school of thought which says putting more fish into the river may enhance the chances of more coming back. All these views deserve to be properly aired.”  It has its own identity within the organisation as it is specific to fishing matters only, hence the name: The SGA Fishing Group.

Petition link: https://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01782

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