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Hebrides News


Controversial plans to make freshwater fishing a criminal offence unless the angler had a permit has been ditched by the Scottish Government.

Introducing rod licences and a new wild fisheries levy are also being dropped from a proposed new law on wild fisheries management.

In a consultation, people considered that wild fisheries management is best carried out locally, by those with experience and expertise, rather than being centralised by government.

Their view was that local management would take account of differing local characteristics, and encourage local engagement and support.

Scottish Government sinks plans for fresh water fishing charges

7 February 2017

Many were concerned that the proposed changes would lead to increased costs for anglers which could result in the loss of existing anglers and deter new ones.  

This would lead to the loss of angling clubs and the closure of fisheries which would hit tourism and the local economy.

At the same time, most respondents supported proposals for increased participation in angling, particularly young people.

MSP Alasdair Allan has welcomed the development.


He had raised concerns on the effects on wild fishing, after receiving a number of representations from concerned islanders.


Alasdair Allan said: “I am very glad the Scottish Government has listened to the concerns I had raised on behalf of many people in the islands, including the tourist industry.


“When these proposals were first considered, I found there was considerable anxiety about the financial burden which rod licences for wild fishing, in particular for trout, could place on individual anglers.


“They also had the potential to deter young people away from the sport.


“It is important we find a way to manage our freshwater fish stocks without placing undue burden on local anglers, and I hope these revised proposals are a way to achieve that.”