May 2, 2009

Scottish anglers urged to free salmon

Scottish anglers are being urged to release all the salmon they catch during this year's spring run.

The Association of Salmon Fishery Boards said Friday that numbers of salmon dropped this year after four years of small increases, The Scotsman reported. Salmon fishing lures thousands of visitors to Scotland every year, spending millions of pounds.

Peter Hutchinson, the assistant secretary of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization, said that salmon appear to be in trouble over a wide area but the cause is unknown.

There is something happening in the oceans that is affecting abundance on a very large scale, he said. Our scientific advisers confirm that marine mortality has doubled, in some cases trebled, over a period of 20 years. This mortality is undermining conservation efforts that are being taken all around the North Atlantic.

The Salmon Net Fishing Association of Scotland, which had already delayed the opening of the season by six weeks, refused a request to delay it again, this time until June.