Recreational Sea Angling Strategy Group Meeting
Friday 12th March 2010
Alan Radford Chair
Steve Bastiman Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network and Scottish
Federation of Sea Anglers (SSACN & SFSA)
Ian Burrett SSACN
James Thorburn SSACN
Rhona Fairgrieve Scottish Coastal Forum
Margaret Leggett Scottish Enterprise
Mairi Caldwell Scottish Government: Tourism (morning only)
Grev Humphrey Angling For Youth Development (AFYD)
Anne McLay Marine Scotland (MS): Science
Rob Roberts MS: Sea Fisheries
Damon Hewlett MS: Sea Fisheries
Calum Smith MS: Sea Fisheries
David Mallon MS: Marine Planning (morning only)
Lorna King MS: Marine Planning
Chris Gosling Scottish Government: Sport Policy (afternoon only)
George Hamilton COSLA
Dennis Kelly SSACN
Steven Duff HIE
Welcome and apologies
1. Alan Radford welcomed all to the meeting, recorded apologies and initiated
the third meeting of the RSA Strategy Group.
Minutes from previous meeting
2. Attendees agreed that the previous meeting’s Minutes were accurate. In due
course, these Minutes will be placed on the Scottish Government website in a new
RSA section. Post meeting note: please see RSA web page on SG website -
3. Group’s purpose. In addition to the four key objectives identified in the first
meeting (strong voice, encouraging uptake, more & bigger fish, promoting best
practice), the January meeting stressed the need to be crystal clear about the
ultimate, overarching purpose of the group and of any future RSA Strategy.
Alan Radford proposed the following: “the mission of the RSA strategy is to ensure
that, in recognition of RSA’s potential contribution to income and employment in
Scotland, and to participants’ quality of life, RSA in Scotland is appropriately
protected, enhanced and suitably integrated into management of the marine
environment and wider economic development initiatives”. Members agreed that this
was a very helpful encapsulation of the Group’s primary focus.
RSA Strategy Group – 3 meeting, March 10 1
4. Action Plan. Unfortunately, the Action Plan was unavailable for the meeting.
It will be circulated around the Group in due course.
5. Strong Voice. The Group discussed how best to enhance RSA engagement
with wider marine policy developments, including in the light of the recent Marine Act.
Members agreed that a small sub-group would convene to expand on this
discussion, flesh out the proposals from the January meeting1 and gain a greater
understanding of how RSA could integrate more effectively into the wider marine
management structure. Sub-Group members would be: Alan Radford, Steve
Bastiman, Rob Roberts and a MS Marine Planning representative (Veronica Smith).
Post meeting note: sub-group has met. Summary in due course.
6. Promoting Best Practice
6.1 Ian Burrett gave the group an overview of the SSACN’s draft Code of Best
Practice. Reactions to this paper were largely positive. To expand on the
environmental aspects of best practice, Ian agreed to contact the environmental
awareness initiative, focussed primarily on recreational users, The Green Blue.
6.2 The Group discussed proposals for the promotion of safety guidance, and the
form that this guidance would take. Whilst it might be useful to provide translations
of the guidance in various European languages, it would likely be more effective to
use pictorial rather than textual guidance. Additionally, attendees agreed on the
importance of targeting specific groups and specific locations. On this basis, it is
likely that Local Authorities and other localised bodies could have an important role
to play. Rhona Fairgrieve agreed also to consult the Marine Coastal Agency (MCA)
and The Green Blue for their advice on appropriate safety guidance.
7. Promotion and Tourism
7.1 Mairi Caldwell updated the Group on the latest developments in tourism,
advising that there were ongoing changes at Visit Scotland (VS) and, for the time-
being, there did not seem to be a direct replacement for Anne Kinnes. Some
attendees were concerned by this and keen for further clarification about VS’s
prospective relationship to and commitment to RSA. In the absence currently of a
VS officer with responsibility centrally for RSA, Rhona will invite David Adams-McGilp
(Argyll & Bute VS) to the next Strategy Group meeting.
RSA interests should have more involvement in the Inshore Fisheries Groups (IFGs). Whilst IFGs
include RSA reps on their Advisory Groups, consideration should be given to including RSA at a
more direct and/or Executive Committee level. This reads across to wider developments re the
Marine Act and the prospective regional marine boards;
a group or series of groups to deal with recreational matters, similar an on a par with the IFGs.
This also reads across to the Marine Act and the regional boards;
press for creation of a new team in Marine Scotland, dedicated to marine recreational matters.
RSA Strategy Group – 3 meeting, March 10 2
7.2 After discussion on the ‘Anglers Welcome’ scheme, Ian Burrett explained
SSACN’s annual ‘Sharkatag’ event and suggested that VS could provide greater
input into this scheme, which could help increase attendance at the next event.
8. Encouraging Uptake
8.1 Grev Humphrey, co-ordinator of Angling For Youth Development (AFYD),
gave an overview of the organisation’s work. The AFYD scheme, started in 2004,
aims to get young people involved in angling. In essence, the scheme is a
community partnership, very grassroots and harnessing the skills of some for the
benefit of many. AFYD has been credited with SQA status, and has been successful
in helping young people steer clear of criminal activities. Although AFYD
undoubtedly provides a great service to the communities it works with, as of yet the
academic accreditation applies to freshwater fishing only. However, AFYD are
currently working with SFSA and SSACN to develop SQA status for sea angling.
8.2 The Group agreed that AFYD had much to offer sea angling and coastal
communities generally, noting how it could encouraging the uptake of RSA among
young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Attendees agreed
that AFYD would be invited to attend future meetings of the Strategy Group.
8.3 Chris Gosling outlined Sport Scotland’s (SS) relationship to RSA. Although
SS usually focuses more on competition based sports, Chris agreed to take the
Group’s input back to SS for discussion.
9. More and Bigger Fish, other fish stocks and marine science matters:
9.1 Steve Bastiman gave an overview of his paper ‘Protect and Enhance’, the
central theme being that access to stocks is the key to enhancing RSA . Many
factors impact on stocks and there may be numerous ways of effecting improved
access; a “one size fits all” approach is not appropriate. The paper highlighted the
link between the Group’s strategy work and other stock issues, as well as providing
an insight into the net flow of money from angler spending in various regions of
Scotland. The paper considered the different types of sea angler and their various
needs, and estimated the number of fish present in the respective areas. This
information could provide a basis for deciding which areas to concentrate on, and
how, for the development of RSA. So as to determine the best way to integrate RSA
into fisheries management and marine planning, and to factor in a range of economic
aspects, Alan agreed to assist Steve with further work on the paper.
9.2 Steve and Ian raised the topic of Angling Regeneration Centres (ARC), a
central aspiration of SSACN. The purpose of ARCs would be to set aside a given
marine area for the development of RSA. SSACN are hopeful that ARCs, should
they be set up, could also act as a useful educational tool.
9.3 Damon Hewlett suggested that in order for the Group to further develop such
recommendations for stock conservation measures it would be useful to consider
RSA stock priorities in further detail, specifically ‘where, when and what’. Damon
offered to liaise with Steve on this issue and to expand on the detail of stock issues
of importance to the sea angling community.
RSA Strategy Group – 3 meeting, March 10 3
9.4 After discussing the relative importance of scientific and economic evidence in
determining how best to achieve the ‘Protect and Enhance’ goal, the Group
discussed possible regeneration mechanisms, including the implementation of
additional temporal and technical closures to those already in place. MS
representatives informed the Group that there are a number of seasonal and spatial
closures in place, as well as a range of fisheries technical measures designed to
preserve stocks2. The Group discussed the degree to which the RSA sector is
appropriately integrated within the processes that determine the development and
implementation of such measures. The SSACN reps emphasised that RSA should
have a stronger voice in inshore fisheries management, notably in relation to the
operation of Inshore Fisheries Groups (IFGs). The ‘strong voice’ sub-group will
discuss this matter further.
9.5 Lorna King advised that the Marine (Scotland) Act, as well as the UK Marine
and Coastal Access Act, had been passed. Lorna outlined the types of Marine
Protected Areas (MPAs) and, in broad terms, the criteria for their implementation.
There are three types of MPAs:
Nature Conservation MPAs – to protect or enhance biodiversity and/or geo-
Demonstration and Research MPAs;
Historic MPAs – to protect sites, wrecks etc of historic significance.
9.6 MPA designation will be based primarily on science although socio-economic
factors may be taken into account in specific circumstances. MPAs will be
designated in accordance with specific criteria and draft guidelines for MPA selection
in Scotland will be made available for comment soon. Lorna made clear that there
will be a presumption of use within a MPA unless an activity is damaging to a feature
for which the site is designated. In other words, MPAs are not envisaged as simple
tools of closure or restriction of an area to single use. Local communities will be able
to propose sites for designation but these sites must meet designation criteria and
have the support of the regional Marine Planning Partnership.
10. Date of next meeting: to be confirmed (agreed subsequently as 3 June).
Marine Scotland April 2010
For example, please see various information and news articles on SG Sea Fisheries web-pages:
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/marine. Also, for those closed areas that exist under the Inshore
Fishing (Scotland) Act 1984, please see:
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/scotland/ssi2004/20040276.htm (this dates from 2004 – further
Orders have been made since e.g. in the Firth of Lorn and at Lamlash Bay).
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