Response 1012984556

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2. The Salmon Five Point Approach

Q2.2a. To what extent do you agree with the summary of the current state of salmon stocks and the supporting information provided in Appendix 2?

Please select one item
Wholly
Ticked Partially
Not at all
Please give your reasons and any evidence you have to support your answer.
There is concern about the use of "probably" and the imprecision thereof and uncertainty which that creates. Within the North East region and particularly Northumberland there are several rivers that support salmonid stocks that are not taken into account e.g. Aln and Long Nanny at a small scale and Tweed on a large scale which will contribute to the overall health of stocks in this region.

3. Deciding which salmon stocks need further protection

Q3.2a. To what extent do you agree that a salmon stock should be subject to additional protection from net/fixed engine and rod exploitation if it is classified as either At Risk or Probably at Risk of failing to meet its Management Objective?

Please select one item
Wholly
Ticked Partially
Not at all
Please give your reasons and any evidence you have to support your answer. If you would like to provide us with an alternative approach then please do so.
We agree that at risk stocks should have additional protection, but with regards to "probably at risk" this uncertainty should be looked at further. In addition to this how can you protect one river's stock when the adjacent river's stock is deemed not to be at risk?

4. Review of existing National Salmon Byelaws

Q4.2a. Do you agree with the proposal to renew without amendments the existing National Salmon Byelaws to protect spring salmon stocks?

Please select one item
Ticked Wholly
Partially
Not at all
Please give your reasons and any evidence you have to support your answer.
The current byelaws are the best to ensure the continued protection of the run of spring salmon. These multi winter fish tend to be the most valued by both netsmen and anglers and it is important that they are not over exploited. The fact that more of these fish are being seen most years shows that the current byelaws are working.

5.4. All consultees' views sought on the options for net and fixed engine fisheries

Q5.4d (Seeking all consultees' views on the options for the North East Coast Net Fishery). Which is your preferred option for the North East Coast Net Fishery as set out in Section 5.3: Table 3?

Please select one item
Option NE1
Option NE2
Ticked Option NE3
I don't have a preferred option
Please provide details of why you have given this answer.
This is the preferred option as it will continue to allow exploitation of salmonids beyond 2022. It is acknowledged that the majority of the North East stock is not at risk. Impacts to other fisheries are likely to be relatively low as the number of current drift licences is at an all time low. It is also acknowledged that beach nets are mainly focused on targeting sea trout. By allowing the continued exploitation it will also assist in ensuring shellfish stocks are not subjected to increased exploitation.
If you would like to suggest a different approach and your reasons for suggesting it, please do so here.
It is felt that option NE3 strikes the right balance in what is a challenging situation for the Environment Agency as managers of the fishery. The level of exploitation should certainly not increase. Overall however this is a well managed and regulated fishery which it is felt should be able to continue to a reasonable extent as suggested in NE3. The fishery has considerable economic benefits for both the fishers in terms of their occupation and employment as well as supporting industry. The fishery also has a rich historical tradition and thereby cultural as well as social significance for the fabric of coastal life in the North East of England and especially including Northumberland. There is also concern about footnote 2 on page 25 of the Consultation Document regarding existing fishermen being allowed to "transfer efforts elsewhere" which is exactly what NIFCA would wish to see avoided regarding the potting fishery which is managed by NIFCA in the district and the dangers of which we have highlighted in responses to previous consultations and correspondence direct with the Minister. NIFCA believe that with the concerned relating to the nature of the mixed stock fishery research is required into establishing if fish returning to Scottish rivers have differing migration periods to those returning to English rivers. If there are significant differences NIFCA believe that by adjusting the season when fishing is permitted by the netsmen could help to minimise impacts to stocks returning to Scottish rivers or other rivers where the stocks are deemed to be at risk.

Q5.4e (This question is for all consultees to answer and is in reference to the answer you have given to Q5.4d). What are the benefits, if there are any, which you would see from your preferred option for the North East Coast Net Fishery?

These could be economic as well as social/cultural, please provide details if you are able.
By continuing to allow fishing for salmonids this will benefit many of the coastal communities in the Northeast. Not only by direct employment for fishermen but also for supporting industries such as fish processing and boat maintenance of traditional Northumberland and Yorkshire vessels. Local caught wild salmonids are a popular item on many local restaurant and hotel menus and therefore the fish also contribute to the tourist industry. Continuing to allow the fishing for salmonids will also benefit other parts of the local industry, particularly those targeting the lobster stocks (currently deemed under threat by Cefas) by preventing a transfer of effort.