First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has promised investment to protect wild salmon fishing stocks as anglers on the River Tay prepare for another fishing season.
Ms Sturgeon was asked what the Scottish Government was doing to tackle dwindling wild fish levels, which are being experienced globally, during First Minister’s Questions on Thursday.
The SNP leader said more than £750,000 was being invested in a project on salmon migration patterns as well as developing a salmon strategy.
She said: “This is Scotland’s year of coasts and waters. Last week, the Scottish Government announced £750,000 of funding for a project to investigate the migration of wild salmon on the west coast.
“That builds on an on-going programme of research and monitoring, which includes the Moray Firth tracking project. The project will help to develop a body of evidence on the complex challenges that salmon stocks face in Scotland.
“In addition, we committed in the programme of government to the development of a wild salmon strategy. Working with key stakeholders, we will continue to do everything possible to safeguard the future of Scotland’s wild salmon.”
Interim Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw questioned for the second week running the SNP’s education programme, following a rare government defeat during a debate on the matter on Wednesday evening.
The Scottish Government was forced to accept there are “weaknesses” in its education and qualification structure, as well as concede there was an issue surrounding multi-level teaching in Scottish classsrooms – particularly in Dundee.
Mr Carlaw asked the First Minister if she would focus not just on what was going “well, but what is going wrong”.
Ms Sturgeon responded: “In 2006-07, the percentage of school leavers getting a level 5 qualification was 71.1 per cent.
“In the most recent year for which we have statistics, it was 85.9 per cent. When we took office, fewer than half of pupils left school with a higher, the exact percentage was 41.6.
“Today, almost two-thirds—62.2 per cent of pupils—leave school with a higher.
“In 2009, the percentage of pupils leaving school with five passes or better was 22.2 per cent. Today, that is more than 30 per cent.
“I readily accept that further improvement is required and that is why we are taking the action that we are taking.
“It would be good, once in a while, for Jackson Carlaw to accept the progress that those statistics say is taking place in Scottish education.”
Following the debate, Mr Carlaw said: “After almost 13 years of failure, Nicola Sturgeon has finally agreed to investigate her own government’s abject performance on education.
“The SNP has no-one to blame here but itself – it has been in sole charge of the brief for more than a decade.
“And in that time schools have had to limit their subject choice, children of different ages and levels are being taught in the same class by the same teacher, and standards in literacy and numeracy have been called into question.
“Teachers, pupils and parents – all of whom work tremendously hard – deserve far better than this.
“It’s essential this full inquiry is impartial, independent and provides the solutions we so desperately need.”