Fishing or fish farming: the conflict between a Crown grant of salmon fishings in the sea and other Crown rights in the sea in Scotland

Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw, Thomas Appleby, Emma Bean, Priyal Bunwaree

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    Abstract

    There is a rising concern over the impact of aquaculture, particularly salmon farming, on the aquatic environment. Two Scottish parliamentary investigations have revealed concerns over the environmental impacts of the industry, particularly with regard to the potential hazard to wild salmonids. Many have pointed to regulatory complexity being a cause of the poor regulation. Representatives of the Crown Estate Scotland stated: ‘We have the right bits and pieces, but they have not been put together in the right order’. Yet it is the Crown which grants the leases of fish farms to their operators and therefore the Crown is where the ultimate responsibility for their impact sits. If changes to public controls are required, we must first fully understand the roles of the public agencies involved. Part one of this article examines the legal parameters of private rights of salmon fishing, considering the definition of ‘salmon’, the usual terms on which salmon fishing rights are granted in the sea and the legal extent of that right. Part two then examines how such rights operate in competition with other public and private rights in the sea or seabed and foreshore derived from the Crown. Part three finishes with a consideration of how to reconcile the competition of rights identified in part two.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)193-203
    Number of pages11
    JournalEnvironmental Law and Management
    Volume31
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

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