PE01547: Conserving Scottish wild salmon

Rural Affairs

Petitioner: Ian Gordon and the Salmon and Trout Association (Scotland)


Date Lodged: 26 January 2015

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government

(i) in the interests of salmon conservation, and on a precautionary basis, to request Scottish Ministers to use their powers immediately under the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003 Act to ensure that no Atlantic salmon are killed in Scotland for a period of five years from 2015 if possible, by 2016 if not - by either nets or rods - before 1st July; and

(ii) in the case of fishing for salmon by coastal netting, to take such steps as are necessary to bring to an end the exploitation of wild salmon by Mixed Stock Fisheries at any time of year, in line with Scotland’s international commitments and obligations.

Petition History:


17 February 2015: The Committee took evidence from Andrew Graham-Stewart, Director, Salmon and Trout Association (Scotland). The Committee agreed to refer the petition, under Rule 15.6.2, to the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee to consider as part of its work on the Wild Fisheries Review. Link to Official Report 17 February 2015

11 March 2015: The Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee agreed to include the issues raised in the petition in its letter to the Scottish Government on the Wild Fisheries Review. Link to Official Report 11 March 2015

3 June 2015: The Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government. Link to Official Report 3 June 2015

9 March 2016: The Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee agreed to close the petition and write to the petitioner to inform him of this decision. Link to Official Report 9 March 2016  

Link to Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee consideration of the petition

Ian Gordon and the Salmon and & Trout Association (Scotland) are asking the Scottish Government to stop the exploitation of salmon before 1st July in response to very poor runs of salmon into Scottish rivers, particularly in 2013 and 2014.

The evidence from angling catches, in-river and coastal netting catches and fish counters across most of Scotland shows 2014 to have been a very poor year indeed. The poor runs in 2014 follow very sparse runs in 2013. The low numbers of salmon reflect poor marine survival for the second year running. In the circumstances it is vital that as many as possible of those salmon that do manage successfully to return from the ocean are able to spawn successfully.

This must apply to both netting and angling.

Please take a long-sighted view of this issue. The Scottish Atlantic salmon could be here for generations, could remain an iconic Scottish species, of whose conservation we can be proud. Or they numbers could continue to decline, one day to non-viable numbers. Let's not look back in decades time and wish we had acted more wisely. Let's be cautious, recognise their value and fragility. Please don't prioritise short-term economic gain, please think about the bigger picture. with best wishes, Alice

Alice Bacon

22:21 on 26 Jan 2015

As an occasional Salmon Fisherman I am disturbed by the lack of fish caught in recent years. My fishing trips to Scotland are greatly valued due to lack of available time and finances and I feel that if the chances of catching are diminishing then I may need try different venues.

John William Ford

22:15 on 26 Jan 2015

They deserve it.

Helen Wells

20:43 on 26 Jan 2015

It would be a tragedy if the decline is allowed to continue.Consider the salmon farming industry as a cause of the problem at sea.

Leslie Lyons

20:22 on 26 Jan 2015

save the wild salmon

Catriona Allan

19:47 on 26 Jan 2015

All Gorvernments in the North Rim need to act collectively on this issue . Before we lose one of the most important parts of our natural history

Lal Faherty

19:39 on 26 Jan 2015

Protect wild salmon. I am sick of reading everywhere to each oily, Omega-3 rich fish that is only found in wild stocks. I also am fed up with the lack of wild salmon from Scotland in our supermarkets. I have had to stop eating Scottish salmon due to the very dangerous levels of mercury that is found in Scottish farmed salmon. Furthermore, when buying tinned wild salmon, the Omega-3 content has been cut in half esp from those salmon caught in the Pacific and North Atlantic. At the weekend, I was happy to see fresh portions of wild salmon available to buy at Asda but it cost £6 for 2 portions. This is double the price of our fresh farmed Scottish salmon, which is full of mercury and other pollutants. I suffered from early stage breast cancer over a year ago and ensuring our country - famous all over the world for its salmon, can supply me and my child with fresh wild Scottish salmon should be a priority for the Scottish Parliament. Why are we importing cheap wild salmon and paying double the price for it and only offering Scots highly contaminated farmed Salmon when we are surrounded by fresh water lochs, seaways and oceans? WHERE IS OUR WILD SALMON INDUSTRY?

Dr Carol McKenzie

15:42 on 26 Jan 2015

I think it's very good effort. Please by all means accomplished.

Shigenobu Fujii

15:18 on 26 Jan 2015

River rod and line salmon fishing is vital for the rural Scottish economy

David Abel Smith

12:45 on 26 Jan 2015

i like to see salmon in our rivers in years to come, the way thing are going that dont look likley

con sheehan

12:12 on 26 Jan 2015

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