Pike anglers on both sides of the border were today studying proposals for a blanket ban on livebaiting in Scotland.


Announcing its response to the draft Aquaculture and Scottish Fisheries Bill yesterday, the Scottish Executive said:


“The Scottish Executive proposed a complete ban on the use of live vertebrates as bait due to the potential impact on the biodiversity of water bodies through competition and predation as well as the increasing the risk of disease and parasites to existing stocks.


“A majority of respondents agreed with the proposal. However a substantial minority of individuals objected, pointing out that most live bait users are responsible.


“The Scottish Executive intends to implement this proposal by drawing up an SSI to prohibit the use of live vertebrates as bait throughout Scotland. The Bill will contain an enabling power enabling the Scottish Ministers to prohibit such baits and lures as they may specify by statutory instrument.”


The draft bill is now expected to go before the Scottish Parliament later this year.


A Pike Anglers Club spokesman said: “We’re now studying the draft bill and speaking to our Scottish colleagues about its profound implications for all pike anglers.


“While we are still considering our response, these draconian proposals show why pike anglers need to unite and fight all threats to their sport – regardless of where they appear.”