SCOTLAND, UK - Scotland’s wild fisheries must have a robust management system in place to ensure they are equipped to meet all the challenges and opportunities in the 21st century.
Achieving this is the main aim of the upcoming independent Wild Fisheries Review, the remit and scope of which was announced by the Environment and Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse in parliament.
The review will look at how to manage, conserve and develop wild fisheries to maximise the sustainable benefit of Scotland’s wild fish resources to the country as a whole and particularly to rural areas.
At the opening of the fishing season on the river Tay last month, First Minister Alex Salmond announced that former SNH chairman Andrew Thin will be chairing the review.
Mr Wheelhouse also announced there will be a three person panel, chaired by Andrew, and includes Jane Hope and Michelle Francis. The panel will be supported by a Technical Advisory Group comprising of representatives from Marine Scotland Science, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and the Institute of Fisheries Management, who will provide technical advice and support where necessary.
Mr Wheelhouse said: “We have a manifesto commitment to support and protect Scotland’s famous and valuable salmon and freshwater fisheries. This review is about looking forwards, not backwards and will be founded on what is required to ensure sustainable wild fisheries in Scotland.
“I have known Andrew for a while now and I have observed his work in SNH where he successfully led a process of significant transformation within the organisation. I was delighted when he accepted my invitation to take the role as Chair of the Wild Fisheries Review.
“I am sure everyone with an interest in salmon and freshwater fisheries and their sustainable future will want to engage with Andrew and the review process in a productive and co-operative way, and I would encourage them to do so.
“This review is an opportunity to make sure our management system is fit for purpose for the 21st century and fulfils a commitment that I gave during the passage of the Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill last year, to the effect that the next stage in delivering our manifesto commitment would be an independent review of wild fisheries. When I met with Andrew last week we spoke about the review being free to suggest what is needed to make our wild fisheries management system fit for purpose.”
Mr Thin commented: “I am delighted to be leading this very important review for the government. I will be leading the engagement and will ensure those with an interest in wild fisheries are given opportunities to contribute so that we can collectively identify how we can create a modern management system that will meet the needs of Scotland now and in the future.”
TheFishSite News Desk