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Home / Sporting Events / Fishing / Controversial fishing byelaws in Wales are delayed until 2019

Controversial fishing byelaws in Wales are delayed until 2019

Hugely controversial fishing byelaws in Wales, which have prompted widespread opposition from anglers , will now not be introduced until next year.

Originally scheduled for this summer, the new byelaws are currently awaiting formal approval by the Welsh Government .

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said the postponement was not the result of lobbying from anglers but merely because the procedures for introducing the new byelaws were “protracted”.

And it warned the delay should not be seen as an opportunity by anglers to re-open talks.

Peter Gough, NRW‘s principal fisheries advisor, said: “This delay is a pragmatic solution to resolving current uncertainty.

“However, it is important to note that this does not mean there will be further debate on the subject.

“NRW has concluded its position, the case for further controls has been presented to Welsh Government and it remains unchanged.”

Anglers are being asked to implement the byelaws voluntarily during the 2018 season

Anglers are being asked to implement the byelaws voluntarily during the 2018 season
(Image: Richard Wilkins)

The proposed all-Wales byelaws will make it mandatory for fishermen to release all salmon – and larger sea trout – that are caught in Welsh rivers.

They also include restrictions on fishing methods and reduced net fishing seasons.

Anglers have complained the measures are based on bad science and will prompt an exodus from the sport in Wales, damaging rural tourism.

Dave Mee, NRW’s senior fisheries advisor, said that, as it was unclear when Cardiff would green-light the proposals, the new bylaws were being delayed until the 2019 fishing season to avoid uncertainty.

“At the moment timescales for a decision are uncertain,” he said.

“We hope this will help clarify the situation for anglers, netsmen, fishery owners and clubs and associations.”

NRW wants anglers to release all salmon caught this year to conserve failing stocks

NRW wants anglers to release all salmon caught this year to conserve failing stocks

Although the mandatory catch-and-release proposals are unpopular with anglers, NRW “firmly believes” they are vital for the future survival of these iconic fish.

Other measures, such as tackling agricultural pollution, improving water quality and managing predators, also have a role to play, said Mr Mee.

“Our salmon stocks are in serious trouble,” he said.

“They have fallen to historically low levels and the same is true of about half of our sea trout stocks.

“Neither species can sustain uncontrolled killing of fish.”

A caught salmon being released back into the water by an angler

A caught salmon being released back into the water by an angler

This season, anglers are again being asked by NRW to practice “full restraint” by voluntarily releasing all the salmon they catch in 2018.

The organisation also wants anglers to use fishing methods and tackle that give fish the highest probability of survival.

Mr Mee added: “Most anglers are already voluntarily releasing the fish they catch, but some are not.

“We feel the situation is now so serious for salmon that we must ask all anglers to help preserve as many fish as possible by returning all their salmon.

“It’s also very important to take great care of returned fish. They should always be kept in the water while unhooking to ensure they can swim away strongly.”

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Home / Sporting Events / Fishing / Controversial fishing byelaws in Wales are delayed until 2019

Controversial fishing byelaws in Wales are delayed until 2019

Hugely controversial fishing byelaws in Wales, which have prompted widespread opposition from anglers , will now not be introduced until next year.

Originally scheduled for this summer, the new byelaws are currently awaiting formal approval by the Welsh Government .

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said the postponement was not the result of lobbying from anglers but merely because the procedures for introducing the new byelaws were “protracted”.

And it warned the delay should not be seen as an opportunity by anglers to re-open talks.

Peter Gough, NRW‘s principal fisheries advisor, said: “This delay is a pragmatic solution to resolving current uncertainty.

“However, it is important to note that this does not mean there will be further debate on the subject.

“NRW has concluded its position, the case for further controls has been presented to Welsh Government and it remains unchanged.”

Anglers are being asked to implement the byelaws voluntarily during the 2018 season

Anglers are being asked to implement the byelaws voluntarily during the 2018 season
(Image: Richard Wilkins)

The proposed all-Wales byelaws will make it mandatory for fishermen to release all salmon – and larger sea trout – that are caught in Welsh rivers.

They also include restrictions on fishing methods and reduced net fishing seasons.

Anglers have complained the measures are based on bad science and will prompt an exodus from the sport in Wales, damaging rural tourism.

Dave Mee, NRW’s senior fisheries advisor, said that, as it was unclear when Cardiff would green-light the proposals, the new bylaws were being delayed until the 2019 fishing season to avoid uncertainty.

“At the moment timescales for a decision are uncertain,” he said.

“We hope this will help clarify the situation for anglers, netsmen, fishery owners and clubs and associations.”

NRW wants anglers to release all salmon caught this year to conserve failing stocks

NRW wants anglers to release all salmon caught this year to conserve failing stocks

Although the mandatory catch-and-release proposals are unpopular with anglers, NRW “firmly believes” they are vital for the future survival of these iconic fish.

Other measures, such as tackling agricultural pollution, improving water quality and managing predators, also have a role to play, said Mr Mee.

“Our salmon stocks are in serious trouble,” he said.

“They have fallen to historically low levels and the same is true of about half of our sea trout stocks.

“Neither species can sustain uncontrolled killing of fish.”

A caught salmon being released back into the water by an angler

A caught salmon being released back into the water by an angler

This season, anglers are again being asked by NRW to practice “full restraint” by voluntarily releasing all the salmon they catch in 2018.

The organisation also wants anglers to use fishing methods and tackle that give fish the highest probability of survival.

Mr Mee added: “Most anglers are already voluntarily releasing the fish they catch, but some are not.

“We feel the situation is now so serious for salmon that we must ask all anglers to help preserve as many fish as possible by returning all their salmon.

“It’s also very important to take great care of returned fish. They should always be kept in the water while unhooking to ensure they can swim away strongly.”

Check Also

Angling Direct Annual Loss Widens Despite 27%…

(Alliance News) – Angling Direct PLC said Wednesday its annual loss widened on higher administrative …