On 23 February the Scottish Government Salmon and Recreational Fisheries Team sent an email that many of you may have either received or heard about. The email begins:
“Legislation was laid in the Scottish Parliament earlier today to introduce a package of conservation measures (including a separate Order covering the Tweed District) to manage the exploitation of Atlantic salmon. The measures come into force on 31 March 2016 and take effect from 1 April.
What was not made clear in this email was that while legislation was laid it has not been passed.
Indeed we can confirm that Mr Alex Fergusson MSP for Galloway and Upper Nithsdale will move for a motion of annulment to stop this legislation being implemented which will result in it being taken to the RACCE committee who will consider the motion of annulment.
The committee believe that the RACCE Committee hearing will take place on or around 17 March and while we must be realistic and acknowledge that the composition of the committee means that a successful appeal is unlikely there is still a chance that this legislation can be thrown out at this stage.
Members may also be interested to know that the committee are still waiting to hear from our lawyers about our application to take our category 3 status to Judicial Review. We believe we have a strong case to successfully challenge the decision to place us in a category 3 but must wait and see whether the lawyers are prepared to take on our case.
Therefore for the avoidance of doubt we will continue to issue tags until the legislation is passed through parliament.
Members purchasing tickets should note that even though tags have been supplied, if the legislation is successfully introduced then the tags will be null and void and all anglers will have to comply with the Government decision to enforce 100% catch and release on the Lomond system.