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Scottish Conservatives Back Anglers

Jan 13,2008 Leon Roskilly


The Scottish Conservatives have this week lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament in support of recreational sea angling in Scotland.

John Scott, Scottish Conservative MSP for Ayr and Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs & the Environment, has already seen his motion attract significant cross party support and hopes to secure parliamentary debating time for the motion in the coming weeks.

Commenting after lodging his motion, John said:

“There can be few more overlooked sectors of our economy than recreational sea angling.

As my motion explains, the sport is still very popular and generates significant investment in coastal communities such as the Firth of Clyde.

It is also important in terms of activity tourism with Scottish waters being famous for fine sporting species such as the enormous but endangered Common Skate.

“Sea angling also leads the way in the promotion of sustainable fishing methods with next to no impact on the environment and the sector deserves credit for their proactive efforts to avoid taking fish yet to reach breeding size.”

Steve Bastiman of the Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network added:

“The fact remains that vast swathes of sea around Scotland’s shores, which once provided rich pickings for anglers, are now bereft of fish due to poor management of our seas.

I therefore urge all relevant agencies, and especially our politicians, to work together towards conserving the many species of interest to anglers so that angling and all the industries associated with it can thrive.”

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From http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/sch/motion.result

S3M-1096# John Scott (Ayr) (Con) :  Recreational Sea Angling"

That the Parliament notes the economic and social importance of recreational sea angling to communities along the west coast and across Scotland;

further notes that around 225,000 people participate in the sport annually with an average spend of £1,375 for boat anglers and £861 for shore anglers;

recognises that most species of interest to sea anglers have limited commercial value and are returned alive to the sea, representing an excellent financial return for “Scotland plc”;

affirms the extremely low environmental cost of recreational sea angling which is at the forefront of sustainable fishing and especially welcomes the Give Fish a Chance initiative from the Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network, encouraging anglers to keep only those fish which have reached breeding size;

regrets the substantial decline of the sport and supporting industries, notably on the Firth of Clyde, due to a loss of stocks with a number of species becoming extinct locally or reduced to the point where only juvenile specimens are now being caught;

notes with concern the critically endangered status of key species, such as common skate, porbeagle and spurdog, which bring sea anglers to Scotland, and considers that work between the Scottish Government, sea angling bodies and other relevant agencies should continue to ensure the conservation of key species and the continued growth of sea angling in Scotland.

Supported by: Bill Aitken, Murdo Fraser, Kenneth Gibson, Bill Kidd, John Lamont, Jamie McGrigor, Mike Pringle, Mike Rumbles, Rob Gibson, Patrick Harvie, Jim Hume, Cathy Jamieson, Margaret Mitchell, Alex Neil, Gil Paterson, Mary Scanlon, Elizabeth Smith

Lodged on 07 January 2008; current



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