The Argyll District Salmon Fishery Board encompasses mainland Argyll and the Isles of Bute and Arran, from the West shore of Loch Long in the East, to the Mull of Kintyre in the South and Glen Creran in the North. It does not include the Isles of Islay, Jura or Mull, nor the Eachaig District near Dunoon.
Role of DSFBs
Salmon fishing rights in Scotland are private heritable titles that are registered separately from land. As such these titles can be bought and sold like any other property. In Scotland, the cost of the local administration, protection and improvement of the fisheries is privately financed by the proprietors. The district boards finance their work by levying a rate on the salmon fishery owners in the district. Elected representatives of those owners provide the core of the membership of the Board. However, since 1986, the boards are required also to include representatives of salmon anglers and salmon netsmen in the district. A further revision to the constitution of the Boards was made in 1999 to allow for even wider representation on the boards by other parties who may have an interest or stake in salmon stocks or fisheries.
Powers and duties
The newly passed Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act 2013 has implications for
the governance of Salmon Fishery Boards. The existing powers and duties have
not changed but there are requirements for making duties and information more
transparent and publicly accessible. Some procedures will also need to be
formalised, for example putting in place a structured complaints procedure with
timescales on replies to complaints.
The powers and duties of a DSFB, including ones resulting from the new Bill, are summarised below:
- to act, undertake works and incur expenses for the protection and improvement of the fisheries within their districts, for the increase of salmon and sea trout and the stocking of the district with these fish.
- to impose financial assessments on each salmon fishery in the district, and to charge interest on arrears.
- to borrow funds, and to incur a wide range of expenditure in furtherance of their powers and duties.
- to appoint bailiffs to enforce the salmon fisheries legislation.
- exempt persons from certain provisions of the law for scientific or other purposes.
- to sue in the name of the clerk.
- to appoint a clerk
- to maintain a list of proprietors within the DSFBs district
- to produce an annual report and audited accounts and to consider these at an AGM
- (new) to include in the annual report proposed actions for the coming year and information about complaints made to the board
- (new) to publish the annual report and audited accounts and copy these to Scottish
- to call a triennial electoral meeting of board members
- (new) to call an annual public meeting, publish the minutes and copy these to Scottish Ministers
- (new) to hold all board meetings in public (a portion of meetings may be held in private but the board must state a reason for this) and publish the minutes of all meetings
- (new) to maintain arrangements for dealing with complaints about the way in which the board have carried out their legislative functions
- (new) to maintain a declaration of relevant financial interests of board members