§ Mr. Wilson
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what advice has been given to the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Trust regarding the acquisition of salmon netting rights in Scotland.
§ Mr. Lang
Acquisitions of salmon fishing rights in Scotland are private transactions. The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland does not advise on either the acquisition or sale of such rights.
Advice is given by DAFS scientists to salmon interests including the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Trust (Scotland) on possible research or monitoring activities which they might fund or take part in. Discussions on this basis took place with the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Trust (Scotland) in March 1988 and in April 1989. Similar discussions are conducted with the Atlantic Salmon Trust, other research trusts concerned with particular river systems, individual district salmon fishery boards and the River Tweed commissioners. General discussions also take place from time to time with bodies representing the collective interests of district boards, anglers and netsmen.
§ Mr. Summerson
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to make a decision on the proposed scheme of salmon tagging being drawn up by the River Tweed commissioners.
§ Mr. Lang
On 26 January the River Tweed commissioners submitted formal proposals for a local scheme of tagging wild salmon in the Tweed area. The proposed scheme would be organised and financed locally but the River Tweed commissioners have sought my right hon. and learned Friend's views about possible new, local powers to support the scheme. These local powers would require primary legislation. I expect there to be further discussions with the River Tweed commissioners on these and other aspects of their proposals in the coming weeks.