Welcome to SSACN’s Frequently Asked Questions Page.

We hope this page will help you to better understand our organisation and what we are trying to achieve as well as address some of the popular misrepresentations of SSACN. Of necessity we have kept the answers reasonably brief, so if you require any additional information, please drop an email to contact@ssacn.org.

Some initial Questions and Answers.

Who do you represent ?
SSACN represents its Members and the views of those bodies we work closely with and who have asked us to represent them on conservation issues. SSACN strongly believe that it is through this sort of cooperative working that the voice of all sea anglers will be heard the loudest.

Why should I join SSACN ? To help secure ‘Fish for the Future’.

Why doesn’t SSACN respond to questions raised on web forums  ? Mostly it’s a question of resource - we can’t effectively monitor and respond to queries on the 10 or so major forums; additionally, there are a small number of internet ‘trolls’ who deliberately reduce any discussion into spiteful personal attacks, in the past this has caused distress to  both those raising the questions and the SSACN staff who responded. SSACN will always respond to queries sent through the ‘Contact Us’ facility.

Someone told me that SSACN’s policy is for 100% catch and release, is this true ? No. SSACN recognise that many anglers occasionally like to take a fish for the table but are still keen to do what they can to minimise any harm to the fish / environment. Since 2007 we have promoted the Give Fish A Chance initiative, a series of advisory notes and voluntary measures, to help anglers achieve that. We do suggest however, anglers do not kill fish which are on the IUCN red list or their stocks are locally ‘at risk’.

Is it correct that SSACN are moving sea angling into a position similar to commercial fishing which, implies licences, imposed regulation and restriction of current freedoms. NO. We are members of many groups whose focus is the future of the marine environment and the freedom of recreational users to access and enjoy it. We are strongly opposed to a licence for sea anglers and have made it clear in Inquiry responses and Parliamentary evidence that NO restrictions should be placed on sea anglers (or any other sector for that matter) unless there is absolute scientific proof that such is required.

Why did SSACN set up the Scottish Shark Tagging Programme ? The Scottish government made it quite clear that they could only address stock issues if the necessary scientific data was in place. Our volunteer army of taggers will help provide results for input into the government’s shark management plans.