Thursday, January 11, 2007

Scottish livebait ban 'not needed'

A livebaiting ban in Scotland is uneccessary and won't achieve what it sets
out to do.

That was the message from the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling today,
as it stepped up its campaign to overturn amended fisheries legislation
which would ban the method.

"Banning the use of live fish as bait is entirely unnecessary, and will
contribute absolutely nothing to meeting the goals the Executive says they
want to achieve from it," said SFCA policy officer Ron Woods.

"They claim a ban is needed to prevent non-native fish speces spreading
through Scotland. The use of live fish as bait and the movement of fish
between waters are entirely separate issues, but even there was a connection
in some cases it could only account for a tiny fraction of the non-native
introductions in Scotland.

"Most of these come from deliberate stocking by clubs or fishery
proprietors, escapes from aquaculture facilities, or discards from garden
ponds; yet the Bill does not seek to ban any of those activities. Instead -
quite rightly - it aims to prevent inappropriate introductions and transfers
by introducing legislation regulating fish movements.

"This is all that is needed, but if the Executive feels they have to go
further they could bring in provisions similar to those in Denmark which
restrict the use of livebaits to fish caught on the same day from the same
water where they are being used. SFCA would be happy to work with the
Executive and others to formulate Regulations along those lines, and to
promote compliance."

Scottish MPs will discuss the Fisheries and Aquaculture Bill later this