The Salmon and Trout Association (Scotland) (S&TA(S)) has welcomed the announcement by Usan Salmon Fisheries Ltd, Scotland’s largest salmon netting company, not to exercise its recently acquired rights to net in the estuary of the River Ythan and on the adjacent coastline.
Usan had issued a statement on 6 April: “After extensive deliberation, we have decided not to exercise our Ythan netting rights. We will, however, continue with our plans to exercise our angling rights, thereby retaining the associated local employment. We intend to fully consider the future options for our Ythan fishings in due course. For the avoidance of doubt contrary to considerable speculation from the angling community, we have no plans to acquire further netting rights in Scotland”.
Hughie Campbell Adamson, Chairman of the Salmon and Trout Association (Scotland) (S&TA(S)), commented: “We warmly welcome Usan’s change of heart and fully appreciate that this must have been a very difficult decision for them. If in due course Usan decides to resell their rights on the Ythan, we would be more than happy to discuss a purchase from them. Furthermore our door is open with regard to any possible negotiations if Usan decides to explore the sale of any of its other netting rights”.
Mr Campbell Adamson continued: “We also welcome Usan’s announcement that it does not plan to purchase any more netting rights elsewhere in Scotland. This bodes well for management and conservation as coastal netting stations are completely indiscriminate in the fish they kill. They have no way of discriminating between weaker or stronger stocks. Scotland has international obligations under the NASCO treaty to protect all stocks of Atlantic salmon – an iconic species already under considerable pressure”.
Bob Dey, President of The Aberdeen and District Angling Association (which has extensive angling rights on the River Ythan), added: “This is excellent news for the Ythan and its local anglers. Let us hope that the Ythan’s stocks of salmon and sea trout can now be restored through conservation measures, in particular habitat improvements”.