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Call for Resumption of Mullet Netting (Updated 19 Jan 06)

Jan 08,2007 SACN

Devon and Cornwall Salmon Netsmen's Association have written to Saltash District Council requesting the Council's assistance in allowing a resumption of netting for mullet in the Tamar, Tavy and Lynher estuaries.

As well as the damage such a proposal could do to the important Recreational Sea Fisheries in the area, it is accepted that mullet (a species of low commercial value) are often regarded as an 'excuse' species, giving reason for netsmen to be operating in areas that also contain more valuable species such as sea-trout, salmon and bass and which are often landed illictly from estuary areas by 'mullet' netters. 

Angling organisations are to appeal to the District Council, bringing to their attention the need to maintain the area's valuable Recreational Sea Fisheries, in particular the Recreational Mullet Fishery which is subject to proposals currently before DEFRA.

See: http://www.thenationalmulletclub.org/mcpsept06v3.pdf

Councillor Sue Hooper has asked that clarification on the state of the river should be sought.


The original Devon Sea Fisheries Committee byelaw was requested by the Environment Agency, concerned at the damage that netting in the estuary was likely to have on salmonoids.

There are also concerns for the Allis shad population.

Previously Fishermen fishing for salmon and sea-trout in the estuaries were compensated following the reduction to zero of the amount of almon and sea-trout that could be netted in the estuaries under a 10 year Statutory Net Limitation Order.

The estuary has now been designated as a Special Area of Conservation with Allis shad listed as an interest feature (The Tamar is now the only river in the UK to have a known spawning population of Allis shad), and the estuary is also a designated bass nursery area.


Contact details for Saltash Council and councillors are available at:http://www.saltash.gov.uk/Council/TownCouncil.htm 

Devon Sea Fisheries Committee can be emailed at: devonseafish@btconnect.com

(Neil Downes is the DSFC Contact)

The Environment Agency Contact is Simon Toms email: Simon.Toms@environment-agency.gov.uk EA Cornwall Area Office, Sir John Moore House, Victoria Square, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL31 1EB  Tel: 08708 506506 

*** 12 Jan 07 ***

SACN have recieved replies from both the Environment Agency and Devon Sea Fisheries Committee saying that, although local fishermen are attempting to garner support locally, they are opposed to the resumption of netting in the estuaries.

Undoubtedly letters and emails sent to the authorities by concerned anglers and angling organisations will support the position taken by the EA and the SFC, should the campaign to resume netting in the estuaries be taken further.

*** 19 Jan 07 ***

I'm pleased to say that following your email and those from several other people on the same subject, Saltash Town Council last night reversed its previous decision, and will write to DEFRA opposing the resumption of mullet netting. 

Normally a reversal of decision can't be done within 6 months, but we suspended standing orders in order to do so.

Shows we listen !

Cllr Joe Ellison

Mayor of Saltash


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