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WATCH: Haaf netters face uncertain future

The historic method of fishing on the Solway known as haaf netting could be under threat.

Fisherman in England have been restricted to catching just three salmon during the three-month season in order to protect dwindling stocks.

Matthew Taylor reports:

You can report any illegal fishing or pollution promptly to the Environment Agency on its hotline number 0800 80 70 60, open 24/7.

Haaf net fishing threatened by new quotas

Credit: ITV Border

New tougher quotas for salmon catches could mean an end to over a thousand years of Haaf net fishing on the English side of the Solway.

From this week, fisherman are only allowed to catch three salmon throughout the whole season.

The Environment Agency says this quota is needed to protect stocks.

But fishermen say it's threatening their way of life.

I think this could be the final blow. And what I would like to do is have a meeting with the Environment Agency and work out a more balanced solution which would ensure our future and the future of the fish. Because I think we're almost becoming as endangered as the salmon."

– Mark Graham, Haaf-net fisherman


Concerns raised over traditional fishing in Annan

Credit: ITV Border

A demonstration is to be held outside Annan Town Hall this evening to raise concerns about the future of stake and poke nets on the Solway.

There are talks for the nets to be banned, due to reports of low salmon stocks in the River Eden.

Local fishermen are worried that hundreds of years of traditional fishing methods may be lost.


Full Report: Solway's smuggling history

Smuggling walks in Dumfries and Galloway are proving a lure for tourists to the area.

The rich history of smuggling in and around the Solway coast have long been of interest.

Everything from alcohol to tobacco was smuggled into Scotland from the Isle of Man, and now businesses are reaping the benefits of people's fascination with the past.

Fiona McIlwraith reports.

"Absolutely everyone was involved" in smuggling

Smuggling was rife on the Solway Coast Credit: ITV News

Historian Frances Wilkins explains how smuggling was a community-wide phenomenon on the Solway Coast.

"Absolutely everybody was involved, it was impossible to get a fair trial in the area, because everyone would be in favour of the smugglers, after all they supplied them...

"Well, you can see the Isle of Man from the coast, so it was only a wee put across to get there, and until 1765 certainly the island was the great store house of everything the smugglers wanted, they could basically go shopping at the supermarket and bring it back here."

Smuggling history provides Solway business boost

The Old Smugglers Inn Credit: ITV News

Derek Struthers, owner of The Old Smugglers Inn, told ITV News about how the Solway Coast's smuggling history has been a real boost to his business.

"We believe a couple of hundred years ago that smugglers would have sat here, drinking their ale and hiding their brandy, so we get quite good fun with the tourists...

"A lot of them come in, in the first instance for just a quick pint, but then when they get to see the pub and the stuff around they start asking questions and it gets quite in depth sometimes and they leave knowing a great lot more than they came in knowing."

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