Salmon netting quota
S&TAS says that salmon netting should only be exercised if individual river stocks being exploited are sustainable Photo: AGS
Greenland is increasing its landings of salmon from 20 to 50 tonnes by introducing a new 35 tonne fish factory internal quota and this may have implications for Scottish salmon populations.
The move was announced at the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO) in Ireland recently.
The Scottish Salmon and Trout Association (S&TAS) has warned that this has important implications for Scotland’s salmon populations, many of which migrate to and feed off Greenland.
It points out that it’s an inevitable consequence of the Scottish Government’s support for coastal netting in home waters and that the organisation highlighted the problem to the Scottish Government at the time, but was ignored.
Hughie Campbell Adamson, Chairman of S&TAS, commented: “In spring 2012 Leif Fontaine, president of the Fishermen and Hunters Organization in Greenland, made it abundantly clear that his members were no longer prepared to accept the inequity of being denied the opportunity to catch salmon commercially if other nations, notably Scotland, continued to encourage commercial fisheries for those same fish when they arrived back in their home waters.”
S&TAS accuses the Scottish Government of having arranged a £100,000 grant for Scotland’s largest netting company and sponsoring the successful application to the EU by the netsmen for Protected Food Name status for ‘Wild Scottish Salmon’ - which it says will inevitably increase demand.
The worry now is that if Greenland does catch significantly more fish, then the Faroese will almost certainly follow suit and there will be precious few Scottish salmon left to manage.
S&TAS wants the exploitation of salmon limited to individual rivers where local management can determine the number of fish that may be killed sustainably based on the best scientific evidence.
It warns that NASCO guidelines are explicit that salmon netting should only be exercised if there is clear evidence that the individual river stocks being exploited are numerous enough for it to be sustainable. S&TAS says that no such evidence exists.