Scottish Government Consultation on Pike Conservation Measures

After extensive discussions between SFCA, pike anglers’ representatives, Marine Scotland officials and other stakeholders it’s great to be able to report that on 8th June the Scottish Government issued a formal consultation document ( https://consult.gov.scot/marine-scotland/pike-conservation/ ) containing three specific proposals for changes to the law so as to provide conservation protection for pike:

  • A maximum size limit for taking pike of 60cm; and
  • A universal bag limit of one pike per angler per day; and
  • A complete ban on the sale of rod-caught pike.

If these proposals get enough support in the consultation they could come into effect as soon as next year via what is called a Scottish Statutory Instrument.

It’s hard to overstate the significance of this – it’s the first ever move to give specific legal protection to any type of coarse fish in Scotland. Some might wish the law to go further, perhaps by requiring 100% catch & release or the use of safe rigs etc, but what is proposed would broadly mirror the protection provided for pike by EA byelaws in England & Wales and has significant potential benefits, both directly and by signalling to anglers and fishery owners that the Scottish Government acknowledges the place of pike in aquatic ecosystems and as a valuable sporting resource.

It’s vital to realise, however, that the outcome of this consultation is not a foregone conclusion. As well as publishing the consultation paper on their website the Scottish Government is duty bound to contact individuals and organisations on their mailing list to invite them to respond. Many of them may support the proposals, or at worst might be indifferent to them, but we can also expect that a proportion will actively oppose giving any kind of protection to pike. If these measures are to have a chance of going through into law it’s crucial that we in the coarse angling community show our support by replying positively to the consultation proposals – individually as well as via clubs and the Federation.

We’re therefore asking every Scottish coarse angler to take a few minutes to respond to this consultation. You can reply online [ https://consult.gov.scot/marine-scotland/pike-conservation/consultation/subpage.2016-07-07.1474135251/ ] and at the very least all you need to do is give a few personal details and answer three key questions. The consultation closes on 31st August so there’s plenty of time, but please don’t delay.

We’ll bring you up to date through the SFCA website / FB page when there is any further news.


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