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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 July, 2004, 06:06 GMT 07:06 UK
Wild salmon still 'in jeopardy'
Salmon fishing is still under threat claims an industry expert
The future of Scottish wild salmon is still in jeopardy, according to a leading fishing industry expert.

The chairman of the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF), Orri Vigfusson, claims there is still an acute need to protect wild stocks.

He is calling for a ban on interceptory netting in Scotland which kills salmon destined for lochs and rivers.

The NASF has campaigned for the Scottish Executive to preserve salmon before the species is wiped out.

Ongoing campaign

Mr Vigfusson said: "It is the duty of the Scottish Executive to support wild salmon, but they are failing to do so.

"The NASF has raised 20m to date to protect salmon originating in Scotland and elsewhere - including 3.5m to support the buy-out of the north-east drift net fisheries in England - but the Scottish Executive did not support that buy-out.

"Our campaign must go on."

An executive spokesman said it did support the conservation of wild salmon stocks and their contribution to the Scottish economy.

He added: "Drift netting was prohibited in Scotland in 1962 and the ban remains in force."

Under pressure

Scottish farmed salmon has also come under pressure in recent months.

A study in January warned that British farmed salmon was so full of pollutant chemicals that it should be eaten only sparingly, a claim dismissed by industry body Scottish Quality Salmon.

The UK's food watchdog last week issued guidance on the amount of oily fish such as salmon which people should be eating.

The FSA said there were health benefits associated with salmon, including the potential to reduce heart disease.

However, concerns have been raised about chemicals in farmed salmon.

The FSA said its recommendations were aimed at striking the right balance based on the evidence available.

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