Alex Fergusson MSP

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Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Alex Fergusson

I would like to explore that as we go forward.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Alex Fergusson

That is the proposal.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Alex Fergusson

I think that I should apologise for that after the past half an hour. My original question was about the lack of scientific evidence, and the debate has thrown up the desperate need for more scientific research into the whole issue.

Let me move the debate on. The proposal in the review is that the sustainability issue should be addressed by the introduction of a licence to kill fish—specifically, wild salmon. I pick up greatly diverging opinions on this, not least because of the practicalities of applying for the quota before the season has even begun. Mr Yonge referred to the difficulty of doing that when you do not even know what kind of run you will have.

Would the panellists like to comment on the proposal to introduce a licence to kill? Will it be effective in doing what it sets out to do? What about the practicalities? How is the quota set and how is it allocated along a certain river? I would be interested to hear your comments on that.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Alex Fergusson

We are told that the strategy must depend on the best scientific evidence available; I have no argument with that whatsoever. What I am looking for—what I was looking for last week—is evidence that shows that angling has a detrimental impact on the sustainability of salmon stocks. Can anybody point me to that information?



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Alex Fergusson

Before I do that, I just comment that, if we are going to use the licence to get rid of crayfish in Loch Ken, we are looking at a price of more than £25 a head. That is a mere aside. It is a huge problem.

The subject of sustainability is at the heart of the strategy. I have been trying to identify the evidence that suggests that rod-caught salmon are a threat to the sustainability of salmon stock, in particular, and that killing rod-caught salmon has a negative impact on the sustainability of the species. Twice last week, I asked Andrew Thin about that evidence. In essence, his answer was that it is a fact that, most years, rods kill more fishes than nets do. Given the spectacular decline in the number of nets in the past number of years, as they have been bought off, that is probably not a huge surprise. Do people recognise that rods kill more salmon than nets?



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Alex Fergusson

I have a supplementary question about rod licensing. I think that it was Mr Woods who mentioned tourists—people who come to Scotland to fish. I want to touch on the possible impact of rod licensing on that sector. I am amazed by the number of people from my constituency, in the deep south-west of Scotland, who have contacted me on the matter.

Whatever way we look at it, the various recommendations, if they are all put into place, will have an add-on cost for people who want to fish. I am quite sure that the big, well-known rivers such as the Tweed and the Tay will continue to attract people in the same number that they do now, but it has been put to me that, on some smaller rivers such as those in my constituency, in the south-west, the measures could have a very serious impact on people coming to fish, staying in the local bed and breakfasts and doing all the things that help the rural economy. Is that a genuine concern? I am totally neutral on this particular issue, but I wonder whether anybody has any thoughts on it and could expand on it.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Alex Fergusson

I know that Galloway Fisheries Trust’s financial structure relies a great deal on local fundraising, as well as on your efforts in attracting grants and all that sort of thing. Is there a danger that a national levy that goes to a central distribution point, if I can put it like that, could have an impact on the local fundraising capabilities that I suspect most trusts rely on to some degree?



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Alex Fergusson

I am the MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Alex Fergusson

Thank you. That is all that I need to know.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Alex Fergusson

I thank you for that clarification, because that is why I dissented from that section of the committee’s report.

My question is to the minister. Can you confirm that it remains the Government’s intention that the power should be used only as a last resort when all other processes have failed?

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

Amendment 2 moved by X on motion S4M-12485 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill—That the
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NoDefeated

Amendment 3 moved by X on motion S4M-12485 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill—That the
>> Show more
NoDefeated

Amendment 4 moved by X on motion S4M-12485 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill—That the
>> Show more
YesDefeated

Amendment 5 moved by X on motion S4M-12485 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill—That the
>> Show more
NoDefeated

Amendment 7 moved by X on motion S4M-12485 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill—That the
>> Show more
NoDefeated

Amendment 8 moved by X on motion S4M-12485 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill—That the
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YesDefeated

S4M-12423.1 Alex Rowley: Commission on Local Tax Reform—As an amendment to motion S4M-12423 in the n
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NoCarried

S4M-12423 Marco Biagi: Commission on Local Tax Reform—That the Parliament supports the establishment
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NoCarried

S4M-12385 Liz Smith: STEM Education in Scottish Schools—That the Parliament agrees that a solid grou
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NoCarried

S4M-12395.1 Fergus Ewing: An Energy Strategy for Scotland—As an amendment to motion S4M-12395 in the
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NoCarried

Search for other Motions lodged by Alex Fergusson
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12343.1: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 18/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12182.1: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 28/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11093: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 03/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10562.1: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 09/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09617: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 03/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09572: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 01/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09425: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20/03/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08943: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 04/02/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08857.1: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 28/01/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08278: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 12/11/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Alex Fergusson
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4O-03973: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 28/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03851: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 17/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03752: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 19/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03669: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 05/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03485: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 13/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03416: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 18/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03369: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 11/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03322: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 28/05/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03261: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 14/05/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03197: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 30/04/2014 Show Full Question >>

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