The Forth District Salmon Fishery Board operates a team of Water Bailiffs, made up of one Full Time bailiff (Bill Cunningham – Superintendent) and a number of volunteer bailiffs covering the District. Their primary duty is to enforce the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act (Consolidation) (Scotland) 2003.
The bailiffs work in partnership with Wildlife Liaison Officers from a number of Police Forces across the District, targeting areas where illegal fishing is/has taken place. If you see or suspect illegal fishing is taking place, then please contact Bill Cunningham on 07887 835549 or 01786 842122 or via E Mail.
Speed is essential, as the sooner our officers get a tip-off, the faster they can act. Make a note of what you saw, where you saw it, the date and time and a description of the people or vehicles involved. All calls will be treated in the strictest of confidence.
Surveillance operations and targeted patrols have been successful, with a number of poachers charged with illegal fishing, not only having their fishing tackle and nets confiscated, but facing a day in court, a fine, prison sentence and a criminal record.
The bailiff’s work throughout the year, not limited to the fishing season, as the taking of salmon or sea trout during the close season is also a criminal offence. This is particularly damaging as the fish are at the most vulnerable during spawning. A hen salmon may produce as much as 5000 eggs, so the impact to future generations is enormous.
All our bailiffs carry photograph warrant cards, they take their duties (to protect salmon and sea trout and their environment) very seriously.
There are a number of clubs and associations within the District that operate “club bailiffs” schemes, who work closely with Bill and his team. These schemes are ideal, bringing local knowledge and increasing the number of river watchers.
Association of Salmon Fishery Boards Bailiff Policy Statement
The bailiffs have all completed the “Certificate in Bailiffing and Keepering Duties and Scottish Fishery Law” accreditation delivered by the Institute of Fishery Management (Scottish Branch). The accreditation is required to ensure that the bailiffs are conversant with the relevant legislation, as a qualified bailiff has the powers of arrest, search, entry and seizure. The bailiffs are also members of the IFM Scottish Branch and Associate members of the national institute.
More information about the Bailiff Training and Annual Seminars is available from the Association of Salmon Fishery Boards website.