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District Salmon Fishery Boards' Good Governance Obligations

pencil and bookMarine Scotland’s note of August 2013 sets out detailed guidance on the good governance obligations placed on District Salmon Fishery Boards (DSFBs). Its anticipated audience is DSFBs, proprietors of salmon fisheries and others with an interest in the management of salmon and freshwater fisheries in Scotland. The guidance does not constitute legal advice but is intended to aid understanding of and compliance with the obligations. Boards/individuals wishing to seek legal advice on the effect of the good governance obligations may obtain legal opinion as normal.

Good governance obligations are defined in law at section 46A(3) of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003 (“the 2003 Act”).  They comprise the original obligations placed on Boards by the 2003 Act and those introduced through amendment of the 2003 Act by the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act 2013 (“the 2013 Act”) which came into force on 16 September 2013.

The policy objective for good governance obligations is set out in the Policy Memorandum for the 2013 Act. The purpose of the obligations is to enhance open-ness, transparency and accountability of the management of salmon fisheries by DSFBs. The obligations seek to standardise existing best practice by DSFBs to ensure that all Boards act in a manner consistent with bodies operating in the public sphere. It is not the intention that the obligations seek to micromanage the business of Boards – the provisions provide flexibility in terms of delivery in acknowledgement of the range in size and resources.

The explanatory notes for the 2013 Act provide clause-by-clause guidance on the meaning of each of the Act’s sections. However, the guidance note draws together the full set of statutory good governance obligations placed on Boards and presents, by activity, the actions required.