MSP questions salmon rights

Carrick, Cumnock & Doon Valley MSP Adam Ingram has today questioned the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead on the future ownership of freshwater salmon rights in Scotland currently held by the Crown Estate.

During the exchange Mr Ingram highlighted the findings of the Crown Estate Review Working Group which recommended the ownership, administration and revenues of salmon fishing should be devolved to Scottish Ministers.

The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead agreed with Mr Ingram and indicated that the democratisation of the system would be the way forward.

Commenting Mr Ingram said: “Having become aware of this issue through my involvement with the Save the River Doon Campaign there is no doubt in my mind, that transferring the ownership of salmon fishing to the Scottish Government, and setting up a scheme whereby constituted angling associations can acquire the beats they tenant, would have a significant impact on the industry.

“The Cabinet Secretary has signalled his support of the transfer of these rights and the democratisation of the system for the benefit of all involved.

“It appears that whilst our local associations and clubs work tirelessly to raise funds to ensure they can survive and develop, their endeavours are far from supported by the Crown Estate who collect a significant rental from them with very little investment.

“Reform of this archaic and unfair system is long overdue and with cross party support in the Scottish Parliament for reform with the passing of a motion supporting devolution of the Crown Estate to ensure that Scotland’s natural assets are managed in Scotland for the benefit of all of Scotland’s people.

“The UK Government must now listen and act upon the wishes of the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish people.”