Response 156781760

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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
Ticked Wholly
Partially
Not at all
Please give your reasons and any evidence you have to support your answer.
Talking to other fishermen.

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.
Those who fish for recreation only - I would imagine the vast majority of all salmon fishermen - have a strong vested interest in the health of the rivers and therefore they, and those who host them - riparian owners, local hotels etc., should be relied upon to support any sensible steps to protect salmon. To ban fishing for salmon with rod and line would drive off the very community whose main interest is to protect the species. I speak from experience - the ban on salmon fishing on certain Donegal rivers some years ago has created a situation where poaching if rife (any angler on those rods simply claims to be fishing for sea-trout), there is no revenue to pay bailiffs and a fall-off in fishing related tourism. I would however support a policy of 100% catch and release.

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
Wholly
Partially
Ticked Not at all
Please give your reasons and any evidence you have to support your answer.
It would seem to make sense that the interests of rod and line anglers (apparently around 4.5 million in the UK for all fish species) - plus of course the infrastructure that supports them and depends on them should be given priority over the interests of a very very few - though possibly very vocal - people who net salmon for commercial gain. My own view is that netting at sea should be quickly phased out and fishing by rod and line be made entirely catch and release. The statistics which you so helpfully and clearly lay out would seem to indicate that a gradualist approach to stemming the decline of salmon is no longer possible - stronger measures are called for.

6.2. Possible options for rod fisheries - catch and release of salmon

Q6.2a (This question is for all consultees to answer and we are seeking your views on the possible options that have been developed). Which is your preferred option for the catch and release of salmon by rod fisheries from those that are set out in Section 6.2: Table 6?

Please select one item
Ticked Option 1
Option 2
Option 3
Option 4
I don't have a preferred option
Please provide details of why you have given this answer.
I am favour of a 100% catch and release policy throughout the season for the forseeable future.

Q6.2b (This questions is for all consultees to answer and is in reference to the answer that you have given to Q6.2a). What are the benefits, if there are any, which you would see from your preferred option for the catch and release of salmon by rod fisheries?

These could be economic as well as social/cultural, please provide details if you are able.
An important part of the impetus for conservation of rivers comes from fishermen, which when working hand in hand with government bodies and NGOs (the Wye and Usk Foundation is an example) can achieve good results in areas such as habitat regeneration, so it is axiomatic that fishermen have a big role to play in conserving rivers and fish stocks. It is worth repeating that there is a major infrastructure supporting the fishermen, and on whom the fishermen depend - riparian owners, tackle suppliers, hotels, pubs etc. But those fishing with rod and line must also accept that in the current state of salmon stocks, it is unreasonable to insist on "one for the pot". From what I see and hear there are few salmon fishermen nowadays who would not accept the need for 100% catch and release.

Q6.2c (We would like to seek all consultees' views on the use of a voluntary (as opposed to mandatory) approach to deliver increased levels of catch and release). Do you agree with using a voluntary approach to deliver improved catch and release of salmon by rod fisheries?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
I don't know
If no or don't know, please explain your answer and include any dis-benefits that you consider the use of voluntary catch and release would bring.
Easy to administer. It could be brought in at the same time as closing the nets.

Q6.2d (If you answered yes to Q6.2c please answer these questions). Do you support the proposed levels of voluntary catch and release for rivers whose salmon populations are either At Risk, Probably at Risk or Probably Not at Risk (see Section 6.2: Table 6: Option 4)?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
I don't know
Please select one item
Ticked Higher
Lower
If you wish, please provide us with what you think the levels of voluntary catch and release should be and the reasons for your answers.
100% catch and release throughout the season.

Q6.2f (This question is for all consultees). Would you support the voluntary catch and release of all salmon caught (100%) on rivers whose salmon populations are either?

Please select one item
At Risk
At Risk and Probably at Risk
Ticked At Risk, Probably at Risk and Probably Not at Risk
I would not support the voluntary catch and release of all salmon caught

Q6.2g (This question is for salmon anglers). Would you stop fishing for salmon if the proposed levels of catch and release were implemented (see Section 6.2: Table 6)?

Please select all that apply
Ticked No (I wouldn’t stop fishing whichever option was implemented)
Yes, if Option 1 was implemented
Yes, if Option 2 was implemented
Yes, if Option 3 was implemented
Yes, if Option 4 was implemented
Please tell us which river(s) you fish for salmon on.
Wye

Q6.2h (This question is for salmon anglers). Would you consider moving to a river where lower levels of catch and release were required?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
I don't know