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 5: Part 3 - Enforcement

Salmon & Freshwater Fisheries (Scotland) Bill


61. The purpose of this Chapter is to describe in more detail Part 3, and highlight the areas which we still need to develop. The draft clauses in Annex D are limited to the appointment process for Bailiffs and wardens.

Detailed provisions of Part 3

62. Section 35 sets out the process for appointment (often referred to as 'warranting'). The Scottish Ministers may authorise water bailiffs to operate in either a single area, or potentially, any part of Scotland. The draft also reflects the continuation of local and national appointment.

Q18. Do you agree that the appointment of water bailiffs/wardens could be for more than one FMO and potentially nationwide?

63. As highlighted in our previous consultation, we consider that water bailiffs should continue to be employed and managed at a local level.

64. The continuation of the ability to appoint bailiffs at a local level represents a change from the Wild Fisheries Review report. We have listened to stakeholders' concerns about centralisation and we consider that the governance and accountability framework established in Part 1, will give Scottish Ministers the necessary assurances for such authorisation to take place at a local level. We will continue to keep this under review as thinking on the current and future powers for these roles develops.

Q19. Do you agree that the appointment of bailiffs and wardens should continue to take place at both a local or national level?

65. Section 36 is designed to complement the offence of fishing without legal right or written permission. Section 37 and 38 set out water bailiffs' powers of enquiry and entry. The wider powers of water bailiffs are still under development.

66. A number of stakeholders have expressed a desire for the term 'water bailiff' to be changed for the new legislation. A number of suggestions have been made including 'fisheries officer', 'fisheries enforcement officer' and 'river officer'.

Q20. Do you agree that we should consider a new title for the role of water bailiff?

67. Following advice from stakeholders, we have also suggested that the role of fishery warden is included in the draft provisions as an additional tier of enforcement officer, in addition to the role of water bailiff. The more limited powers of wardens are set out in section 39-41. It is anticipated that the role of fishery warden will be a voluntary role, primarily focussed on checking the right of individuals to fish, but also providing a useful point of contact for anglers and other users of the resource. It should be emphasised that Water bailiffs will have much more extensive powers than wardens.

Q21. Do you agree that there are advantages in having a second tier of enforcement officer, primarily focussed on checking permits and providing information?

Elements of Part 3 to be developed further

68. As currently drafted the provisions do not cover the powers of water bailiffs beyond the specific powers of enquiry and entry set out in sections 37 and 38. We wish to look at the powers of enforcement officers in parallel with our work on offences referred to in Chapter 4. We will take this forward with the relevant bodies, including the Bailiff Development Group. Enforcement is a significant aspect of any legislation and we remain committed to develop this in partnership with practitioners and the wider sector.

69. Our policy intention is that the powers of water bailiffs will be broadly similar to the current powers, but will apply to offences relating to all species (rather than just salmon and sea trout).

Q22. What issues in relation to powers and enforcement do you consider are barriers to providing appropriate protection to our wild fisheries and fishing?


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