Friday, July 4, 2008

Salmon Fishing Scotland Freshwater Fisheries Blueprint.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Freshwater Fisheries Blueprint.
Freshwater fisheries blueprint announced.

By Dave Lord

SCOTLAND’S GLOBAL reputation as a top destination for anglers is set to be enhanced thanks to a “strategic framework” covering freshwater fisheries policy.

The “ambitious new vision” will be outlined by rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead during a visit to the Game Fair at Scone Palace today.

More funding for freshwater fisheries, which bring £120 million a year to Scotland’s economy, is among the proposals.

The framework aims to improve fisheries management through several key initiatives. These include increased funding, catchment-based management of all freshwater fish species and streamlining fisheries bodies so they work more effectively.

Speaking ahead of the Game Fair’s opening today, Mr Lochhead last night said, “Scotland is renowned for its freshwater fishing and attracts anglers from around the globe, keen to take part in the Scottish experience, particularly catching salmon.

“The strategic framework is an excellent piece of work within which progress towards improved management of fresh-water fisheries can be realised.”

Mr Lochhead is convinced it will prove popular with all of those affected.

“The measures within the framework are forward-looking and acknowledge that work needs to be undertaken before its vision can be realised,” he said.

“More research, sharing good practice and promotion of the framework itself are all ways in which we can ensure our freshwater fisheries fulfil their potential.

“I hope that anglers and fishermen alike take its provisions to heart and work with the Scottish Government and the river authorities to contribute to the sustainable economic growth of rural Scotland.”

He was well aware of the lucrative role played by fishery businesses and was keen to see their potential further exploited.

“Our freshwater fisheries contribute £120 million toward our economy each year and the sector supports thousands of jobs in our rural communities,” Mr Lochhead said.

“Scotland’s international image as a premier destination for all who enjoy angling and other outdoor pursuits is already well established.

“I firmly believe that the process set in motion by the strategic framework will enhance that image further.”

Hugh Campbell Adamson, who chairs the Association of Salmon Fishery Boards, is enthusiastic about the development.

“The association warmly welcomes the publication of the strategic framework.

“We believe it provides an excellent blueprint for the future and highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the current system, while also offering a clear structure that will allow us to build on and develop current approaches to freshwater fisheries management,” he said.

“We also welcome the very close co-operation between the Scottish Government and the private sector, without which this document would not have been produced.

“We look forward to continuing that close co-operation and, together, delivering on the objectives set out in the framework.”

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