MSP welcomes closure of drift net salmon fisheries

In a letter to Rachael Hamilton MSP, the UK Government has confirmed proposals to close all drift net salmon fisheries in 2018 and to stop the take of salmon from the majority of the remaining net fisheries by 2019.

Genetic testing has revealed over 70% of fish caught by the North East drift net fishery are of Scottish origin. This means the nets have prevented fish from reaching their home rivers.

This measure aims to protect salmon stocks that have seen record low levels across Scotland, including the Tweed. It is understood that such measures will help salmon numbers recover.

Rachael Hamilton MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire said: "I welcome the UK Government’s commitment to close all drift net salmon fisheries in 2018. This action will help increase salmon stocks in the River Tweed.

"The UK Government is committed to keeping our Scottish rivers healthy with strong salmon stocks.

"The fishing season has just started and I hope that this action will make it a more successful one for those livelihoods linked to the Tweed."

Fay Hieatt of The River Tweed Commission said: "The River Tweed Commission is very pleased that the UK Government is following international best practice and calling a halt to mixed stock fisheries. With our Salmon runs shifting to fall within the drift net season, the closure of the nets should allow more fish reach their home rivers, including many destined for the Tweed."