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punaise   Call for action over wild stocks :: [1374 lectures]

claim Scotland and Norway lagging in efforts to preserve species

By iain grant

Published: 15/01/2011

The Scottish Government has been urged to up its game on preserving wild salmon stocks.

According to the North Atlantic Salmon Fund, Scotland and Norway lag well behind efforts being made to preserve the future of the species. Fund chairman Orri Vigfusson said that it has had excellent co-operation from the governments of Iceland, Greenland, the Faroes and Canada.

But, he said, Alex Salmond’s regime has signally failed to support the concerted drive to return Atlantic stocks to their former levels.

The fund, launched in 1989, was prominent in brokering compensation deals to close netting stations.

It also campaigns for better control of salmon farms and to stem pillaging of sand eel stocks.

Mr Vigfusson acknowledges that a number of established netting stations have closed along the north and east Scottish coasts in recent years, but he says a sizeable number remain.

Speaking during a trip to the Highlands, he said: “Scotland and Norway are still practising interceptory mixed stock fishing. “There’s been quite a lot of progress in Scotland over the past 10 years in closing netting stations, but there’s still quite a long way to go.”

Mr Vigfusson, 65, a businessman from Reykavik, is also very critical of salmon farms in the west coast of Scotland which, he said, have devastated some salmon rivers. Advocating either closed containment systems or land-based regimes, he said the farmed industry would otherwise continue to spell very bad news for wild salmon through pollution and mixing with escaped fish.

A Scottish Government spokesman said it has taken considerable steps to protect wild salmon stocks. There has, he said, been extensive investment from both public and private interests in fishery management. He added: “It’s the responsibility of government to consider all those who hold rights to fish for wild salmon, including net fisheries. “Salmon netting catches have reduced substantially over the past 20 years and Scotland has a long history of reducing exploitation of the species through netting.”

Avatar Ajouté le 18/01/2011 17:14 par Ψadmin 10 commentaires 

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