Following Andrew Thin’s request for comments in response to the Wild Fisheries Review that is currently underway in Scotland, the Board are pleased to provide a copy of their submission below.
Wild Fisheries Review
On behalf of the River Ayr Board I wish to note our concerns re. the Review of Wild Fisheries in Scotland.
Our concerns are as follows :-
1. This Board consider there is no need for a change to the existing District Salmon Fishery Boards. They are local and well managed and control Salmon fisheries in their particular area. Local knowledge is essential.
2. There is concern that with Government intervention there will be an increase in Assessments for Proprietors/Clubs. Anglers find difficulty paying assessments and there is genuine concern that if there is a larger Government organisation then it will increase costs to anglers. The present system which primarily works with volunteers is cost effective.
3. We are concerned again that if there is another organisation operating then it is unlikely that bailiffs will volunteer. They are happy to volunteer for their own particular River only.
4. Local knowledge is essential for each River. Again a larger organisation will miss out on local knowledge. Our Board has representatives of all areas and they each have their particular points to raise. Each river is totally different from another and each Rivers particular local knowledge is essential.
5. There is concern that the review as planned does not take into account other factors such as agriculture and land. Our River works closely with Proprietors and deals with land matters affecting River. There is strong liaison with Land Owners in the catchment area, this would appear not to be included in any review and again River operates well on a personal basis by a local Board dealing with Land Owners.
6. The Board employs Ayrshire Rivers Trust to assist in managing the River and dealing with environmental matters. If there is a new organisation the local Rivers Trust are unlikely to be in existence and there is concern that expert local technical advice will be lost.
7. At present the Association of District Salmon Fishery Boards operate well for 50 Boards. They advise all Boards on ongoing matters which would affect each River. There is therefore no need for another organisation
I would be obliged if you would acknowledge this letter.
Forbes M Watson
Clerk To The Board
This concludes the Boards response to the Wild Fisheries Review.