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Salmon recovery plan needs action, say gillies

Salmon recovery plan needs action, say gillies.

The Scottish government has released its strategy plan progress report for Atlantic salmon — but there are concerns the proposals do not go nearly far enough. Scottish river gillies believe implementation of the delayed Salmon Strategy must urgently gather pace if it is to succeed in helping ailing salmon populations recover.

Positive actions detailed in the government’s Wild Salmon Strategy Implementation Plan progress report included the removal and improvement of structures acting as barriers to salmon passage, and the banning of sand-eel fishing. However, these were the only tangible actions. 

Most of the report focuses on future work and issues, as well as securing funding for more science.

Grant Kellie, river Ericht gillie and a member of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association fishing group, said: “It needs leadership and urgency from people at the top and, on the evidence of this report, we are falling far short. Science has already identified the problems. We need action.”

Provisional salmon catch records for last season for Scotland show a 25% decline from the previous year and gillies are concerned.