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D-day for fishing season

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D-day for fishing season

COUNCILLORS will decide later today whether fishing on the River Annan and River Nith should be allowed to go ahead this season.

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Ad Hoc Covid-19 Sub Committee will consider a report outlining potential options to regulate fishing during the Covid-19 emergency.

More than 30 permits for fishing on the Nith have already been sold, while the Annan haaf-netting season was due to begin next week. And councillors will be asked to decide if the decision whether to fish during the lockdown period should rest with the local authority or individual fishermen.

A report circulated ahead of the meeting quotes advice given by Fisheries Management Scotland, the national body representing fishing boards, which reads: “Ultimately it is for individual proprietors to determine whether fishing can take place in accordance with the latest announcements. “However, we do not consider that fishing is an essential activity and, in most cases, it requires a degree of travel which could not be considered essential. “It is our view that the fishing management and angling communities should play a full part in this greater societal commitment, and therefore it is the strong recommendation of Fisheries Management Scotland that we should refrain from fishing during the lockdown period.”

Councillors will be asked to choose between two options in relating to licensing fishing for this season: they could opt to keep the fishings open, issue the licences and highlight to individual licensees that it is their responsibility to follow government guidance, or they could refuse to issue permits, refund any that have already been sold and close the fishing until the advice from Fisheries Management Scotland changes.

Council officers recommend the latter option, but councillors will make the final decision at the meeting later today.

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