In the ever-evolving conversation about climate adaptation, the concerns of sport fishing communities can sometimes drift downstream, away from the core of policy discussions. However, a recent contribution to the Scottish Government’s public consultation on the National Adaptation Plan 2024-2029 by SANA has cast a new light on the intersection of environmental policy and sport fishing.

The SANA’s submission was a response to the consultation’s focus on various environmental challenges and proposed solutions, with a particular emphasis on water habitats—crucial areas often overlooked in broader environmental policies. The Plan, aiming to enhance resilience against the changing climate, highlighted the need for robust strategies to manage and protect natural resources, which directly impact the sport fishing industry.

A central element of SANA’s response was their critique of recent government policies on agricultural policy, biodiversity, and forestry support, which, according to them, neglected the critical impacts on water habitats. This neglect could potentially harm freshwater ecosystems vital for the life cycles of various fish species, including the iconic wild salmon.

In their submission, SANA highlighted the positive reference to the Wild Salmon Strategy within the consultation document, showing support for the proposed actions under the “Nature Connects” section of the plan. These actions included reinforcing natural coastal barriers and managing pests and diseases, which are crucial in protecting the habitats that sport fishing depends on.

SANA’s specific recommendations stressed the importance of managing water resources to ensure adequate clean water availability for freshwater habitats, advocating for a reduction in water abstraction and the restitution of riparian woodland and peatland. These actions, they argue, are essential for the sustainable management of water bodies that support sport fishing.

The response also discussed the economic impact of sport fishing, particularly how policies affecting water usage in agriculture and forestry directly affect the fisheries. SANA warned against the over-allocation of rural land for forestry, emphasizing that such practices could strain water supplies critical to both agriculture and fishing industries.

Through their detailed response, SANA aimed to ensure that the voices of anglers and the sport fishing community are heard in policy-making processes. They called for a more integrated approach that considers the unique needs and contributions agriculture and fish habitats.

For more information on SANA’s response and the details of the Scottish National Adaptation Plan 2024-2029 consultation, please visit the government consultation page. This entry reflects the dedication of SANA to champion the causes of sport fishing amid significant environmental and policy changes, ensuring that these practices can continue to thrive in a changing world.

Download the SANA response file here