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Scotland's Atlantic salmon fishing recovery continues in 2008

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Figures published today (March 20, 2009) confirm that 2008 was another encouraging salmon angling season on Scotland's rivers. The figures are presented in the first-ever Association of Salmon Fishery Boards Annual Review.

The early publication of last year's results from Scotland's main salmon rivers confirms that the recent trend of encouraging rod catches continued in 2008. The annual figures, which in the past have not been published until September the following year, are included in the first-ever Annual Review from the Association of Salmon Fishery Boards (ASFB). The numbers indicate that the total rod catch for 2008 was likely to be in line with the figure for 2007, which at 91,053 was the third highest since consistent records began in 1952. Total rod catches of salmon have been remarkably stable over recent seasons - averaging 88,418 per annum between 2004 and 2007.

Hugh Campbell Adamson, Chairman of ASFB, commented: "With the help of recent legislation, salmon fishery boards are now better able to collect and collate catch data soon after the end of each salmon fishing season. With the launch of the ASFB's first Annual Review we have taken the opportunity to publish catch details from around Scotland, including the 'Big Four' rivers - Tweed, Tay, Dee and Spey - well ahead of the official figures in six months time. They confirm that 2008 was another encouraging salmon angling season and it is clear that rod catches are now stabilising at around the 85-90,000 per annum level - with the majority being released back into the water by anglers".

Andrew Wallace, Managing Director of ASFB, added: "We are however by no means complacent. There are still many factors limiting salmon abundance - particularly the decline in marine survival over the last four decades. Recent rod catches are due in no small part to all the conservation measures and habitat improvements that have been introduced and adopted over the last two decades. In addition, Scottish anglers continue to make a significant contribution to exploitation control through being so supportive of our largely voluntary catch and release policies. It is vitally important that the great restraint shown by anglers is now reciprocated by further substantial reductions in exploitation by Scotland's coastal net fisheries".

Mr Wallace continued: "The ASFB Annual Review highlights some of the key threats to salmon and sea trout and details much of the latest research and practical projects being undertaken by Scotland's network of fisheries trusts in mitigation. The Review also explains the important role of fishery boards and fisheries trusts and it contains a concise facts and figures section, which underlines the key economic importance of our salmon angling".

Andrew Rettie, partner at Strutt and Parker, sponsors of the Review, said: "Strutt & Parker are delighted to be sponsoring the first ASFB Review. This eagerly anticipated inaugural issue has informative articles which will be of interest to everybody connected with the world of salmon fishing".


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