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Volume 86: debated on Thursday 7 November 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what salmon legislation he proposes to bring forward in this Session of Parliament; and if he will make a statement.

The main element of the Bill will be the improvement of the present salmon management arrangements in Scotland providing for changes in the structure and composition of district salmon fishery boards, and revision of the powers relating to the regulation of salmon fisheries in Scotland; updating and strengthening of anti-poaching measures.It has been clear for some time that Scottish salmon legislation is in need of updating not only as an incentive to increase the number of district boards in Scotland but to make the boards more democratic, in relation for example to membership. The Bill will deal with this and will also modernise procedures, particularly as they affect the powers of the Secretary of State and district boards for the regulation of salmon fisheries, to introduce greater flexibility to meet changing circumstances and needs, for example in relation to conservation of stocks.Account will also be taken of the concern about the current extent of salmon poaching throughout Great Britain by introducing further provisions in relation to the possession of illegally taken salmon. The Bill will also provide for the introduction of a salmon dealer licensing scheme in Scotland, but will not include provisions relating to a salmon tagging scheme, for the reasons set out in my right hon. Friend's reply today to my hon. Friend the Member for Woking (Mr. Onslow).