On the one hand, it says it “is fully committed to salmon conservation” and, on the other, it states that “no licence would be granted by us if there was evidence it would have a detrimental impact on stocks”.
Just how the granting of a licence to kill an additional 1,000 salmon during what has always been the close season for netting (for conservation reasons) can be deemed not “detrimental” to stocks is a clear contradiction in terms.
Scotland, through the EU, is a signatory to the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (Nasco), which requires all contracting parties to apply the precautionary approach to the management and exploitation of wild salmon.
The licensing of what is essentially a new fishery without knowing the individual river population strengths of the fish being exploited (and whether those stocks are robust enough to withstand exploitation) represents a basic negation of the precautionary principle.
This is particularly regrettable when the nearest river to the north, the South Esk, is a Special Area of Conservation for Atlantic salmon.
Esk Rivers and Fisheries Trust
Mains of Balgavies
By Forfar, Angus