FISHING chiefs have reached a ground breaking agreement with Scottish Natural Heritage to better manage Scotland’s waterways.
A joint statement between Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland (RAFTS) re-affirms each organisation’s appreciation of the other’s interests, recognises the benefits of the public and private sectors forming strong and effective partnerships and details arrangements for future liaison and co-operation.
It recognises that RAFTS’ research, advice and capacity to co-ordinate and deliver projects is now well proven and that Fishery Trusts are set to play an increasingly important role in securing the future of Scotland’s rivers and lochs and the diverse flora and fauna that they support.
Both organisations will work together to better Scotland’s rivers
Andrew Wallace, Chairman of RAFTS, commented: “RAFTS and SNH have, over recent years, been developing important partnerships around the shared objectives of better managing and conserving Scotland’s river catchments, their fish and fisheries.
“This document enshrines these aspirations and the need, in difficult economic times, for the public sector and third sector to work in a smarter, more effective way. With several strong existing partnership programmes already underway we can look forward to developing this relationship with confidence and optimism.”
Ian Jardine, Chief Executive of SNH, added: “SNH and RAFTS are committed to realising benefits from Scotland’s rich natural environment, particularly our fresh water.
“That relationship has been further strengthened by our joint statement of intent issued today which will drive what we do, and how we do it. Our natural capital is important to everyone in Scotland. Put simply, this is the recognition that our natural heritage is significant economically and provides associated health and well-being benefits for all of us.”
Mr Jardine continued: “An SNH poll in 2011 revealed 91% of people are glad that wild salmon are in Scotland’s rivers. Rivers and lochs are most highly valued assets and we are committed to working with partners to manage and conserve our freshwater environment. This is part of our natural capital which has a significant economic role and landscape and marine environments are a boost to Scotland’s Gross Domestic Product.”
Callum Sinclair, Director of RAFTS said: “For several years, RAFTS’ spring conference has been a pivotal event in the fisheries calendar. This year, for the first time and in recognition of the close working relationship between the two organisations, the 2012 conference is being jointly convened by RAFTS and ASFB.
“This provides an opportunity to present the positive contributions that fishery trusts and District Salmon Fishery Boards make individually and collaboratively to fisheries and environmental management and protection.”