“Stop fish­ing or lose salmon”

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - NEWS -

An At­lantic salmon ex­pert has called for the prac­tice of catch and re­lease to be sus­pended to en­sure the sur­vival of the species in Scot­tish wa­ters.

Pro­fes­sor Car­los Gar­cia de Leaniz of Swansea Univer­sity de­scribed the plight of salmon as “an ab­so­lute scan­dal” and be­lieves that gov­ern­ments are de­lud­ing them­selves that catch quo­tas are the an­swer. He said: “How can we con­tem­plate a scheme where we catch fish sim­ply for fun and put them back in the river in the hope they are go­ing to sur­vive? Of course they are dam­aged by it.

“There is no guar­an­tee that stop­ping catch and re­lease would save the fish, but if we don’t, it’s not go­ing to get any bet­ter.”

Scot­tish An­glers Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Archie Fer­gu­son told Shoot­ing Times: “There are a lot of is­sues to ad­dress be­fore we at­tack an­glers. An­gling goes way be­yond catch­ing fish; we are the first line of de­fence in the pro­tec­tion of wa­ter qual­ity, fish stocks and so on. If we don’t have a vested in­ter­est in pro­tect­ing fish stocks, who does?”

An­drew Gra­ham-ste­wart of Salmon & Trout Con­ser­va­tion Scot­land, added: “Stud­ies in Scot­land show that the mor­tal­ity of salmon from catch and re­lease is 10 per cent.” He pointed out that the bailiff­ing of Scot­land’s rivers is done by fish­ery boards funded by money raised from an­glers.

The wild salmon pop­u­la­tion has de­clined by 70 per cent in 25 years

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