This is a question being posed right now by the Scottish Government.
For my readers, this is my response and take on it all.
Many thanks for the invitation to have my voice heard on this subject.
Legislation changes in the past have done nothing to halt the decline so why would you think that will change now?? I am curious for some of your “Experts” at Marine Science Scotland, or Fisheries Management Scotland to answer this?
In the early 1960s, the most efficient way of catching salmon known to man, drift netting, quite rightly was banned around Scottish coastlines. Amazingly it was allowed to continue around the EU until 2002. During this period, we banned fishing with certain lures and baits, prawns, shrimps, worms. Over the past 25 years it has become fashionable to persecute those fishing certain lures and spinning in general. For the past 20 years has seen at least 90% catch and release. Anyone knowing the genuine issues knew that this was just buying time. Question is, what have your experts done with that time? Answers on the back of a stamp please. For me what has been going on here Is Criminal. I am surprised some of the larger anglers' organisations have not taken government to task over those years of total incompetence. This latest measure is the same as all before it. How does the saying go – Do the same things and expect different results? So back to the first question. An answer please????
If your advisors feel there are still 300,000 salmon returning to Scottish Rivers [as suggested in international and national trends document] then it would appear to me that we do not have much of a problem, especially when one considers that the full run of wild salmon returning to Icelandic rivers is around 70,000-80,000. 20,000 of which are hatchery reared fish and their economy around angling is thriving! Just who have you got feeding you all this nonsense? The Scottish public and economy deserve so much better than those rejects.
How can it be that in Scotland with 4 times more salmon than Iceland we have such a massive problem, potentially consigning the consumption of wild salmon by the people of Scotland to the history books? A sector that once thrived when run by people who understood and dealt with the “known” problems has, for the past 40 years [the time of the worst decline], been run by “experts” put in place by you! Managers, who shunned input from those with previous experience gained from generations working in this industry.
The above being the case, let me suggest you take those involved in the industry, all your advisors, those "so called" managers and sack them all. I could pick a team of 6 people who, “with your support” , would do a better job than the whole lot of them. Please get rid of them because they are and always have been the problem, spending lots of taxpayer's money on total nonsense rather than the things that would obviously make a difference. Or could it be that this is just what you call politics; creating jobs that produce nothing but more questions?
If, as you suggest here, the plight of the Atlantic Salmon in Scotland is so important to you may I suggest - GROW A PAIR! Stop pussy footing around unearthing more bullshit and let the people that know how to deal with the problem, deal with it.
Please do not take this personally. 40 years of listening to 100% bullshit has now boiled over.
PS - None of your Experts will answer that question because none of them have the guts to even attempt it. None will to it because they are all reject underachievers. They are why we are in this pickle.
THIS IS WHY WE HAVE A DECLINE AND THE SCOTTISH ECONOMY IS BEING SHORT CHANGED TO THE TUNE OF £200M EVERY YEAR. YOU’VE STOPPED US FROM “MANAGING” THEM!
Bin the rejects and do something constructive. Kill any seal entering a river. Drive Cormorants back to the sea. Kill every Goosander in the country, everyone know they should be here. Spend money saved on rejects on hatchery projects like the successful one on the river Carron. Manage close seasons better based on salmon runs over the past five and not 50 years. Limit rod numbers on rivers based on fish numbers. Every ghillie in Scotland knows whether there's a lot, little or average.
All those things before depriving the people of Scotland the chance to eat a wild salmon. Please!!