Mixed Stock Netting

We're sure that, like us, you'll be astounded to hear that the Scottish Government recently admitted it is not doing enough to abide by its international responsibilities to protect wild salmon and sea trout. The extremely lax regulation of Coastal mixed stock fisheries (MSFs) is a classic example of the lack of commitment by Scotland to conserve its native fish in the face of pressure from the netting industry. In fact, Scotland is the only wild salmon country in the Northern hemisphere to allow an increase in MSFs – several dormant coastal netting stations were reopened during 2013.

England isn't as bad, but MSFs are still licensed off the North East coast, where both drift nets and coastal fixed engines (T&J nets) caught more than 16,000 salmon and 40,000 sea trout in 2013 – staggering figures. These fisheries are being slowly phased out as no new licenses will be issued when current netsmen retire, and the Government has committed to closing down the drift nets by 2022. That is more than Scotland is doing, but it still means tens of thousands of salmon and sea trout will be killed indiscriminately before the netting stops.

What is a mixed stock fishery? Find out here

S&TC UK Action

S&TC UK has a long history of action over mixed stock fisheries, but most recently:

  • In June 2014, we submitted an official complaint to the EU under the Habitats Directive that Scotland was failing to manage its wild salmon stocks by continuing to allow coastal MSFs to continue without first undertaking the appropriate assessment as to their impact on rivers with Special Area of Conservation status.
  • We successfully lobbied for a zero net limitation order on the North East Coast Fishery, which means that as fishermen retire from the industry, their licenses cannot be passed on, thereby effectively phasing out the fishery over time.
  • We are constantly keeping up the pressure on the Scottish and English Governments to put quotas on all coastal fisheries so that, until they are completely closed down, at least the numbers of fish that can be indiscriminately killed will be controlled. We are calling for quotas all round before the start of the 2015 season

You can help stop indiscriminate coastal netting. Join S&TC UK today and add your pressure on UK Governments to abide by their international responsibilities and close down mixed stock fisheries.

Your membership will help us make UK Governments act responsibly. Because as we pile on the pressure, they will no longer feel comfortable shutting their eyes and ears to the need to protect wild fish from indiscriminate netting of salmon and sea trout.

Please hurry. The clock is ticking down to Spring 2015 when salmon and sea trout will once again have to run the gauntlet of Scottish and English coastal nets as they desperately try and reach their rivers of birth so that they can breed and keep their populations viable into the future.

Further Information

Five-point Salmon Plan