Wild Salmon Strategy Implementation Plan Delivery Group minutes: March 2023

Minutes from the meeting held on 1 March 2023.


Attendees and apologies

  • Antje Branding , Marine Directorate (Chair)
  • John Armstrong , Marine Directorate
  • Jamie Stewart , River Tweed Commission
  • Alexa MacAuslan , Northern District Salmon Fishery Board
  • Lorraine Gormley , Water Environment Team, Scottish Government
  • Sarah Robinson, Scottish Wildlife Trust  representing Scottish Environment Link
  • Roger Knight , Spey District Salmon Fishery Board
  • Jamie Ribbens, Galloway Fisheries Trust
  • Alan Wells, Fisheries Management Scotland
  • Mark Bilsby, Atlantic Salmon Trust
  • Alison Baker, Angling Scotland
  • Linsey Mason-McLean, Scottish Forestry
  • Colin Bean, NatureScot
  • Nathan Critchlow-Watton, SEPA
  • Lyndsay Christie, Marine Directorate


  • Malcolm Pentland, Marine Directorate

Items and actions


AB welcomed everyone to the meeting and invited attendees to introduce themselves. 

Marine Directorate are currently undergoing organisational change, with the new structure due to come into force later this year. A detailed update on this will be provided on the next meeting [Action 1].


AB set out the rationale for membership on the delivery group. The following comments were made in discussion.

  • Scottish Water and Crown Estate Scotland were suggested as additional group members, this will be considered by secretariat [Action 2]
  • there is currently no representation of Scottish Land and Estates as they are filling vacancies, but once someone is in post they will be invited to participate in the group
  • District Salmon Fishery Boards (DSFBs) and Rivers and Fisheries Trusts will play a critical role in delivery of the plan so are well represented on the group
  • other organisations can be invited to participate  for specific meetings
  • the communications plan to be developed by the group will be a key tool ensuring wider stakeholders are informed of  and involved in the delivery process

Note: some crossover between ‘terms of reference’ and ‘ways of working’

Terms of reference

A draft Terms of Reference document was circulated in advance of the meeting. The following comments were made.

  • the production of a strategic communications plan is to be included in the ‘role of members’ section
  • in addition to task and finish groups, the workstreams that the group will oversee should be covered in the role of members
  • meetings to be held quarterly. Suggestion that two of these will be more strategic to look at overall progress (six month and annual review) with the other two being a more focussed detailed look at certain actions/workstreams etc.
  • terms of reference will be updated following discussions and recirculated to the delivery group [Action 3]

Ways of working

There was a discussion about ways of working, in which the following points and agreements were made.

  • meetings will mostly take place online via video conferencing with one in-person meeting per year
  • meeting dates will be set in advance and draft agendas agreed
  • there is a need to explicitly state the discussion topics and papers that are to be kept confidential within the group and what can be shared more widely with stakeholders. Group members should feel enabled and not limited by this agreement
  • need to identify what actions can be taken forward in the first instance as ‘quick wins,’ suggestions invited from the group
  • there is a need to identify what actions will require primary legislation
  • a draft work plan will be prepared by the secretariat setting out a timeline of actions. This will be circulated before the next meeting [Action 4]

Next steps

The next meeting of the group will be held in May.

The focus of this meeting will be the strategic communications plan and the timeline of delivery (gantt chart). Draft documents will be shared with the group in advance.

Any other business

  • AB provided a short policy update from Marine Directorate
  • three reports have recently been published by Marine Directorate – national electrofishing programme for Scotland (NEPS) report, review of science on stocking and an assessment of the pressures on wild salmon – links to reports will be circulated [Action 5]
  • the amendment to the Conservation of Salmon Regulations for the 2023 season have passed parliamentary scrutiny and will come into force on 1 April 2023
  • provisional catch statistics for salmon and sea trout in 2022 were published on 1 March 2023 – links will be circulated
  • LMM provided a short update from Scottish Forestry
  • programme for Government commitment to improve support for riparian tree planting taking into account multiple benefits has been delivered and target areas have been identified. Support for riparian planting is prioritised in places where multiple benefits for the environment can be delivered. Benefits considered include river temperature using scottish river temperature monitoring network (SRTMN) data, flood risk, biodiversity and SEPA river basin management plan (RBMP) objectives
  • UKFS Practice guide on creating and managing riparian woodlands is in the final stages of development and likely to be published this year
  • forestry grant scheme consultation is open till the 17th May available at Future Grant Support for Forestry - Scottish Forestry - Citizen Space


  • update on MD transformation - AB, next meeting
  • consider additional group members - secreteriat, in advance of next meeting
  • circulate redrafted terms of reference to group - secreteriat, in advance of next meeting
  • draft communications plan and work plan of implementation plan delivery to be prepared and circulated - secreteriat, in advance of next meeting
  • circulate links to MD publications - LC, 03 March 2023
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