As many will no doubt be aware Ian Gordon has started a petition asking that the Scottish salmon netsmen reverse their decision to recommence netting earlier in the year following a 14 year period of no fishing during the first six weeks of the legal netting season. The petition has already collected almost 13,000 signatures within the first two weeks. If you haven’t seen the petition click here. I would urge all to sign, we know from 2013 and historic tagging studies that fish destined for the Spey are caught in nets deployed on both the north and east coasts of Scotland, and probably further afield.
To potentially increase the exploitation rate further, particulalry on the scarce early spring fish, cannot be justifiable. As the right to net is a heritable right in Scotland this is not an easy issue to solve. We can only hope that a solution is found soon as there can be little argument that the value of a rod caught salmon to the Scottish economy, including jobs created, is many times greater than that generated by a netted fish. The conservation argument against mixed stock netting at a time of highly variable, but generally low marine survival, is overwhelming.