Page last updated at 11:39 GMT, Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Cross-border fish harm 'unlikely'

Haaf fishermen
The report says Scots haaf netting has little impact on the River Eden

A report has concluded that historic fishing methods north of the border have no "significant effect" on stocks in an English river.

The Environment Agency has put limits on haaf-netting in England to protect stocks on the River Eden in Cumbria.

The same 1,000-year-old practice, inherited from the Vikings, takes place on the Scottish side of the Solway.

However, Dumfries and Galloway Council officials say it is "not likely" that it has a major impact in England.

The authority is required to review netting activities on the north side of the Solway estuary to ensure fishing activities do not damage stocks on the River Eden.

Voluntary ban

It has looked at the reported salmon catches by haaf, poke and stake nets in the area.

Figures show that the number of fish taken by nets on the north Solway constitute about 7.7% of the total catch on both sides of the border.

Council officers said that meant the impact of such fishing on stocks in England was "not significant".

The authority already works closely with the local fisheries board and a voluntary ban on net fishing and killing salmon before 1 May each year is in place.

On that basis, DGC has been asked to agree to issue netting licences for the next five years.

A further report on any impact on the River Eden will be received in 2014.

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