Draft provisions for a Wild Fisheries (Scotland) Bill/Draft Wild Fisheries Stratgey: a consultation

This is a consultation on draft provisions for a Wild Fisheries Bill, these provisions adopt an all species approach, while promoting conservation and good management of our wild fisheries resources.

Chapter 2: Introduction to the Draft Wild Fisheries (Scotland) Bill


16. The provisions for a draft Bill are published in Annex D and are split into 4 main parts:

  • Part 1: Administration and management of wild fisheries
  • Part 2: Regulation of wild fishing and fisheries
  • Part 3: Enforcement
  • Part 4: General

17. The draft provisions at Annex D do not represent a draft Bill in its entirety although they do reflect the considerations of the Stakeholder Reference Group to date. We are consulting on the core elements which outline the components of the new fisheries management system, in order to ensure that stakeholders have an early opportunity to provide feedback on the approach we intend to take when a Bill is introduced to Parliament. There are also a number of technical aspects which require further thinking and which are still under development.

18. The purpose of this chapter is to explain what is covered in the draft provisions and also to explain those areas that we still need to develop. Subsequent chapters provide further detail on the provisions and the anticipated future approach to those issues which have not been covered.

19. When considering your response to this consultation it is important that the narrative included in the consultation document is considered in parallel with the draft Bill provisions.

Part 1: Administration and management of wild fisheries

20. Part 1 sets out the framework for the relationship between the Scottish Ministers and local management. It sets out the Scottish Ministers' powers and responsibilities within the new system, and explains the process by which local management bodies, Fisheries Management Organisations ( FMOs), will be established, in addition to a series of good governance requirements. It also sets out detail of the proposed plan-led approach, through local fisheries management plans and a National Wild Fisheries Strategy. Finally, Part 1 sets out powers to finance the new fisheries management system in relation to a wild fisheries levy.

Part 2: Regulation of wild fishing and fisheries

21. Part 2 establishes the regulatory framework. It prescribes the methods of fishing which are allowable, and includes powers to create conservation measures for all species of freshwater fish, controls on fishing, and a power to create a licensing scheme. Technical issues such as offences and authorisations for introductions and activities which would otherwise be illegal (such as electrofishing), are still under development.

Part 3: Enforcement

22. Part 3 sets out the measures to enforce the legislation. It will set out the appointment process and powers of water bailiffs and fishery wardens.

We are consulting on a limited number of sections relating to the appointment of water bailiffs and fisheries wardens. The remainder of this part, which relates to the powers of enforcement officers, is still under development.

Part 4: General

23. Part 4 defines certain terms for the purposes of the provisions. You are encouraged to consider these before you look to comment on the specific questions. An important aspect of any new legislation is the transitional (change management) arrangements in moving from the current system to the future system. Additional work on this important issue will be progressed by a further working group reporting to the Stakeholder Reference Group.

24. As is the case with the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003 (the 2003 Act), the Wild Fisheries (Scotland) Bill will not apply to the River Tweed or the Upper Border Esk. The Border rivers, the Esk and the Tweed, are subject to separate legislative regimes created under the Scotland Act 1998 to allow a whole-river management system across Scotland and England. For the Tweed, the Scotland Act 1998 (River Tweed) Order 2006 confers functions on the Scottish Ministers and the River Tweed Commission. It is largely based on the 2003 Act. Any changes to the management system for the River Tweed, to maintain the current alignment with the rest of Scotland, will require a new or updated Tweed Order in due course. The Upper Esk is subject to bye-laws made by the Environment Agency by virtue of the Scotland Act 1998 (Border Rivers) Order 1999.


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