The River Tweed Commission has welcomed the news that the North East Drift Net Fishery is closing and will not be taking Salmon from the 2019 season.
Fay Hieatt, Clerk to the Commission said, “The River Tweed Commission welcomes the Environment Agency’s news that the Drift Nets are finally closing. International best practice is now being followed by calling a halt to mixed stock fisheries off the Northumberland coast.”
” Genetic work has shown that 70% of Salmon caught in the nets are of Scottish origin, demonstrating just how mixed, and damaging, the Drift Net fishery’s catch was – and how many fish it prevented from reaching their home rivers.”
“With Tweed seeing much depleted Salmon stocks at present – as are many other rivers – it is hoped that the closure of the nets off our coast will help provide more fish with a chance to return to the river to spawn.”
The Environment Agency’s national salmon and sea trout byelaws, applicable in England, have been confirmed by Defra. This means that the byelaws will become law and come into force on 1 January 2019.
The Environment Agency are introducing these restrictions on fishing in England in response to the international decline in migratory salmon stocks. Salmon stock numbers are currently among the lowest on record and are below sustainable levels in many rivers. The byelaws will become law on the 1stJanuary 2019 and, in addition to the closure of the Drift Nets for Salmon fishing, will see the introduction of mandatory catch and release on ‘At Risk’ and ‘Recovering Rivers’ rivers from next June and renewal of the 1998 Spring Salmon Byelaws to protect early running Salmon.
Kevin Austin,Environment Agency’s Deputy Director for Agriculture, Fisheries and the Natural Environment said:
“It is only through continuing to take concerted action, and through the co-operation of others, that we will successfully protect this iconic fish for future generations
We are not implementing these changes lightly and have consulted widely with those affected. There is no single solution to protecting salmon stocks; reducing the catch of salmon can only partly contribute to the recovery of salmon stocks.”