Crack­down: Of­fi­cers team up to tackle poach­ing in rivers with launch of Oper­a­tion Salmo

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - NEWS -

Po­lice and fish­eries of­fi­cers have teamed up to tackle the prob­lem of poach­ing in north­east rivers.

Oper­a­tion Salmo, which launched this week cov­ers Aberdeen, Aberdeen­shire and Mo­ray and tar­gets poach­ing “hot spots”.

The ini­tia­tive also in­volves of­fi­cers from the Dee & Don Dis­trict Sal­mon Fish­ery Board and the Spey Fish­ery Board.

Su­per­in­ten­dent Mur­ray Main ex­plained the sever­ity poach­ing can

have on com­mu­ni­ties. He said: “Poach­ing blights the coun­try­side and af­fects farm­ers, fish­eries, landown­ers and oth­ers liv­ing and work­ing in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

“This is a ma­jor con­cern for those who rely on the river for an in­come or trade and also for those who en­joy some of the most fan­tas­tic rivers in the coun­try.

“Our lo­cal of­fi­cers and spe­cial­ist wildlife of­fi­cers work tire­lessly to iden­tify and tar­get crim­i­nals who of­fend in our ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties and we will con­tinue to work closely with our part­ners and an­gling clubs to tar­get those fish­ing il­le­gally and take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion to stop them dam­ag­ing fish stock and steal­ing from our com­mu­ni­ties.”

The launch co­in­cided with yes­ter­day’s UK-wide Day of Ac­tion Against Ru­ral Crime.

Ac­cord­ing to fish­eries of­fi­cers, poach­ing in­ci­dents through­out Scot­land usu­ally start in­creas­ing from Fe­bru­ary through to April of each year. Jamie Urquhart, of the Dee and Don Dis­trict Sal­mon Fish­ery Board, said: “The Sal­mon Fish­ery on the Dee alone is es­ti­mated to gen­er­ate

£14 mil­lion an­nu­ally to the ru­ral econ­omy of Aberdeen­shire.

“Tack­ling fish theft and il­le­gal fish­ing is vi­tal if we are to pro­tect the lo­cal econ­omy.

“The joint pa­trols be­tween the river bailiffs and po­lice demon­strate how ru­ral crime, such as poach­ing, is taken se­ri­ously.”

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