Paul Wheelhouse MSP

Welcome to Paul Wheelhouse MSP's biography pages

Paul Wheelhouse MSP

Here you can find out about your MSPs' political activities and how to get in touch with them.

  • Member for: South Scotland
  • Party: Scottish National Party

Paul is a member of the following Committees:

Paul is a member of the following Cross-Party Groups:

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by Paul Wheelhouse

Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 19 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 19, 2014
The Minister for Environment and Climate Change (Paul Wheelhouse)

Thank you for inviting me to speak to the draft order, which has been laid for Parliament’s approval.

Members of the committee will be aware that freshwater fisheries management and conservation are, largely, regulated by the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003, but separate arrangements are in place for the border rivers. Following the committee’s consideration of the provisions in the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill, an amendment to the 2003 act came into force in September 2013 to provide a new enabling power allowing the Scottish ministers to create a regime for tagging salmon that are caught in Scotland.

I confirm that it remains our intention to consult fully on the structure and extent of any future carcass-tagging scheme, and I am currently considering the options, alongside the wider recommendations that are emerging from the report that was produced following the independent review of wild fisheries.

However, it is necessary to address a technical issue with the current legislation to ensure that a single carcass-tagging system can be introduced across the whole of Scotland. The 2003 act and the amendments to it that were brought in last year do not extend to the River Tweed, which, as a border river, has its own governance. The governance of the River Tweed is provided by the Scotland Act 1998 (River Tweed) Order 2006 (SI 2006/2913), which allows a whole-river management scheme to operate across the border. As a consequence, the order that we are discussing today will amend the 2006 order by inserting a new power that will allow for the creation of a regime for tagging salmon that are caught in the Tweed district, and will ensure that when such a scheme is introduced in Scotland as a whole, that can be replicated for the Tweed. The power will allow provisions to be made about the nature and form of the tags, record keeping and enforcement.

The purpose behind the regime will be to enhance existing conservation measures for wild salmon and to ensure that fish that are caught in Scotland and which find their way to market are traceable. It will allow tagged fish to be measured against fish stocks and it will supplement existing mechanisms for identifying unlawfully caught fish. The detail of the tagging regime for the Tweed district will be set out in a separate order, and the detail of the scheme for the rest of Scotland will be set out in regulations that will be made under the 2003 act. I confirm that I have been in correspondence with my counterparts in the United Kingdom Government, who will be taking the order through the UK Parliament.

I hope that that provides a brief overview of the order and of our longer-term strategy. I will be happy to answer any questions.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 19 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Paul Wheelhouse

If this was a game of Trivial Pursuit, I would fail miserably. I will look to Jeff Gibbons, who might have some knowledge of that. If he does not, we can come back to you with the detail.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 19 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Paul Wheelhouse

We will get the measuring tapes out and provide you with an answer to that.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 19 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Paul Wheelhouse

It is worth pointing out that carcass tagging already goes on in England. We are bringing in our own regime.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 19 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Paul Wheelhouse

Conservation measures are already in place in England. Unfortunately, we are having to catch up. For the committee’s benefit, we can provide some detailed information in response to your question.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 19 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Paul Wheelhouse

I will ask Jeff Gibbons to talk about the process that we have been going through. We have engaged closely with the authorities in England about concerns that they have. I believe that, so far, they have indicated that they are happy to progress the proposed measure with us. We have done a first scan at Government-to-Government level to establish whether the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has concerns about the measure. The Secretary of State for Scotland has been copied in, too, because of the cross-border nature of the activity. Nothing has been flagged up to us yet. Jeff Gibbons will talk through the consultation process.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 19 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Paul Wheelhouse

I add that the Crown Estate has also been consulted. Jeff Gibbons was referring to the River Tweed Commission.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 19 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Paul Wheelhouse

The latter point is the most relevant one. As I said in my opening remarks, at the moment we are in a situation in which we cannot apply a single tagging scheme across the whole of Scotland. The instrument is a technical measure to make sure that we can take the Tweed within any scheme that comes forward.

It is important to put the matter in the context of the fisheries review—we are scanning through the recommendations from Andrew Thin and his group and clearly we want to come forward with a comprehensive package rather than do things piecemeal. However, the order will at least allow us to move forward so that when we produce detail on the carcass-tagging scheme that we set out in the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act 2013, we will be able to apply it across the whole of Scotland rather than having to do two separate schemes—one for the areas that straddle the border and one for the rest of Scotland. Jeff Gibbons may want to comment further on that.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 19 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Paul Wheelhouse

I thought that that was my opportunity to escape.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 19 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Paul Wheelhouse

Having been a member of the Finance Committee in the past, I recognise that there is great interest in having that information simultaneously with the budget. However, I shall explain for the committee’s benefit the process that is involved. Although there is no statutory requirement to produce the information and no statutory specification as to when it should be produced, we have made every effort to produce it as near as we can to publication of the budget. I believe that last year it took five weeks to produce the information, and this year it took three weeks.

We had an unusual situation with the referendum, and during the summer we had a delay in the budget process, which is happening slightly later than it would otherwise, so the team has done a good job of collating the level 4 information and producing it within three weeks. It is difficult; we have to wait until we have the finalised budget before the carbon assessment of the budget can be produced and the team can produce the information that you are now relying on to assess the carbon intensity of the Government’s spending programme.

The point that I am making is that there is a difficulty in producing the documents simultaneously, and we have made every effort to ensure that the gap is as small as possible. I apologise if that has presented a problem for committee this year, but the team has endeavoured to get the information to you as quickly as they possibly could.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
Not VotedCarried

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
YesCarried

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
Not VotedCarried

S4M-11567.2 Margaret Mitchell: Lowering the Drink Drive Limit—As an amendment to motion S4M-11567 in
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-11507.1 Cameron Buchanan: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11507 Angela Constance: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—Th
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-11494.3 Jackie Baillie: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—As an amendment to
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11494.2 Alex Johnstone: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—As an amendment to
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11494 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—That the Parliament
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-11484.1 Jackson Carlaw: Human Rights—As an amendment to motion S4M-11484 in the name of Roseanna
>> Show more
NoDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Paul Wheelhouse
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11509: Paul Wheelhouse, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11029: Paul Wheelhouse, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10972: Paul Wheelhouse, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09916: Paul Wheelhouse, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/05/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09294.3: Paul Wheelhouse, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/03/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09280: Paul Wheelhouse, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/03/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08517: Paul Wheelhouse, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 05/12/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07106: Paul Wheelhouse, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 20/06/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-06845.2: Paul Wheelhouse, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/06/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-06798: Paul Wheelhouse, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 30/05/2013 Show Full Motion >>
This Member currently holds a ministerial post. First Minister and Ministers cannot ask the Government questions which is why no recent questions are displaying here. Please use the full search to find details of previous questions by this Member.
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-09164: Paul Wheelhouse, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/08/2012 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-01238: Paul Wheelhouse, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/06/2012 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-01063: Paul Wheelhouse, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/05/2012 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-07135: Paul Wheelhouse, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/05/2012 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-07133: Paul Wheelhouse, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/05/2012 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-07134: Paul Wheelhouse, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/05/2012 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-01044: Paul Wheelhouse, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/05/2012 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-07085: Paul Wheelhouse, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 08/05/2012 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-07045: Paul Wheelhouse, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/05/2012 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-07043: Paul Wheelhouse, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/05/2012 Show Full Question >>

Further information

Email our Public Information Service for more information.