Salmon Fishing Proposed River Gradings for 2024 Season: Island Communities Impact Assessment

An island communities impact assessment (ICIA) to consider the impact of the Conservation of Salmon (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2023.

Step Six – Making adjustments

Questions addressed:

  • Should delivery mechanisms/mitigations vary in different communities?
  • Do you need to consult with island communities in respect of mechanisms or mitigations?
  • Have island circumstances been factored into the evaluation process?
  • Have any island-specific indicators/targets been identified that require monitoring?
  • How will outcomes be measured on the islands?
  • How has the policy, strategy or service affected island communities?
  • How will lessons learned in this ICIA inform future policy making and service delivery?

The information which feeds into the annual assessment, on which the amended regulations are based, comes from local specific communities and are evaluated as such. Therefore beyond the annual consultation, which is equally available to anyone who wishes to make representations, no further consultation is required with island communities specifically with regards to mechanisms, mitigations or outcomes.

The ability to fish for salmon is equally available across all areas of Scotland as there is no difference in individuals using their right to fish providing that they adhere to the relevant legislation. The amendment regulations update the areas in which mandatory catch and release must be adhered to as those salmon stocks are in poor conservation status (Grade 3).

Decision taken

In preparing the ICIA, we have formed an opinion that our policy, strategy or service is not likely to have an effect on an island community which is significantly different from its effect on other communities (including other island communities). The reasons for this are detailed below.

1. This process of annual Amendments to the Conservation of Salmon (Scotland) Regulations 2016 is not new and seeks to update river grading categories based on the most up to date and best available data.

2. ICIAs are needed where the new policy etc. is "likely to have an effect on an island community which is significantly different from the effect on other communities". We have come to the conclusion that this is not the case. The regulations apply with equal effect on every community, particularly as individuals continue to be able to fish even in Grade 3 areas so long as they adhere to the legislation;

3. The Amendment Regulations apply Scotland wide and the data from the assessments are based on locally collected information. There is no difference in application of the assessments between the island communities and the mainland communities.

4. For 2023 salmon fishing season [last years' consultation], there was only one change for assessed areas within island communities, and that was for Abhainn Eig [North Uist] which rose from grade 3 to grade 2, no longer requiring catch and release.

5. For 2024 salmon fishing season [current consultation], six of the 11 rivers or river assessment areas that have been proposed to change grade were within island communities. Of these, five changes were through improvements in the chances of those salmon stocks meeting their defined conservation limits. The four areas which rose from Grade 3 to Grade 2 and will no longer be subject to mandatory catch and release, are all island communities.

Therefore no ICIA is required.



Back to top