Will the Cabinet Secretary provide the justification for the recommendation by Natural Resources Wales of a catch-and-release policy to be introduced in Wales, including data and evidence used for this?
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is responsible for responding to any threat to sustainable stocks of salmon and sea trout in the rivers of Wales.
As a result of its monitoring activity, NRW consulted on proposed changes to byelaws for catch and release for salmon and sea trout on the rivers of Wales to address the stock issues it had identified. NRW have now analysed the responses to its public consultation and the findings were presented to the NRW Board on 18 January. NRW will now make a formal application to me to determine the byelaws under the Water Resources Act 1991.
Once I receive the formal application from NRW, hopefully later this month, I will consider the range of issues in detail before making a determination in line with the process set out in the Act. However, until this process is completed I am unable to comment further on the proposals.