Thursday, January 04, 2007

E-mail now to stave off livebait ban

Pike anglers are being urged to bombard Scottish MPs with e-mails in a last-ditch bid to stave off a livebaiting ban north of the border.

The Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland and Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling hope to persuade MPs to bring in tighter controls on fish movements instead, claiming a livebaiting ban will not protect Scotland's fisheries.

A draft Fisheries and Aquaculture Bill was amended at the eleventh hour to include a blanket ban. The proposed legislation previously gave officials powers to ban livebaiting in environmentally-sensitive areas.

Ron Woods, policy officer from the SFCA said: "It's important to stress that there are some very positive things in the Bill, not least that this is the first piece of Scottish fisheries legislation ever to recognise the existence of coarse angling, and there's a lot more to play for than just the livebait issue.

"We may go down fighting on that one in the end, but I'm very keen that this should not blind us to the opportunity - and indeed the need - to campaign more widely for constructive measures as well, especially with regard to protecting coarse fish stocks against culling."

The SFCA livebait policy is endorsed by both the PAAS and PAC. There's further information on the SFCA's website here.

A list of all MSP's e-mail addresses is below. You should be able to cut and paste these into the address window of an e-mail.

If the full Parliament endorses the Bill after it reconvenes next week, it will become law.