Scotland’s wild fish interests have invited candidates in the forthcoming Holyrood election to sign a pledge committing to protect wild salmon and sea trout. The Association of Salmon Fishery Boards (ASFB) and the Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland (RAFTS) issued the invitation on April 15th and to date 23 candidates have signed.

The pledge reads: ‘If elected, I pledge to work towards the protection of our iconic wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout and the habitats on which they depend.’

Dr Alan Wells, Policy and Planning Director for ASFB, explained: “The wild Atlantic salmon is one of Scotland’s the most iconic natural species. However our wild salmon and sea trout are under threat from a wide range of human activities. With this in mind we have invited those standing in the May election to sign a simple pledge which affirms that they will strive to ensure that our migratory fish are given appropriate protection”.

Callum Sinclair, Director of RAFTS, said: “Fisheries and rivers trusts are working with fishery boards across a wide range of projects to protect the Atlantic salmon and its habitats. These projects include: aquaculture interactions and impacts; eradication of invasive non-native species which threaten native species; cutting edge genetic studies, which are beginning to unravel the true diversity of salmon in Scotland’s rivers; and the ongoing implementation of fishery management plans developed to support and prioritise management actions. Political support is vital to help ensure that Atlantic salmon and sea trout remain in Scotland’s rivers for future generations to appreciate and enjoy”.

The names of all signatories to date are listed on a dedicated Facebook page (asfb-rafts). They will also be posted on both the ASFB and RAFTS websites (www.asfb.org.uk and www.rafts.org.uk). In due course the full list of signatories will be shared with members of wild fisheries and angling groups across Scotland.