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Review of wild fisheries management in Scotland

On 15th January the First Minister announced that the long-promised review of wild freshwater fisheries management will commence shortly. It is to be chaired by Andrew Thin, the outgoing Chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage. The Review is scheduled to report to Ministers around six months after it commences, which will be when Mr Thin retires in March.

Details can be found here:

We know that the aims of the review are to:

  • develop and promote a modern, evidence-based management system for wild fisheries fit for purpose in the 21st century and capable of responding to our changing environment.
  • to manage, conserve and develop our wild fisheries to maximise the sustainable benefit of Scotland’s wild fish resources to the country as a whole and particularly to rural areas

However as yet no information has been published as to what form the Review process will take, nor are some of the parameters entirely clear (for instance, what constitutes a “wild fishery”, and how the findings will affect those fisheries that are not classified as wild).

SFCA has been assured by Scottish Government officials that they see us as one of the key stakeholders in the angling sector and that we will have the chance to play a full part in the Review. We are currently working to identify the critical issues to raise in this context, and will publish a summary of these on the SFCA website for comment in the next few weeks.

Meantime, we want to hear from anyone with an interest in Scottish coarse angling about what causes you problems at the moment, what needs to change, and, most importantly, what you consider should be done to protect and enhance the future of coarse angling in Scotland. Please send in your thoughts by email to before the end of February.

Ron Woods, Policy Officer

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