asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether, in the light of the United Nations Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, it is the responsibility of Governments to encourage the sustainable domestic stocking of animals such as fish and corals in order to maintain the value of ecosystem services of wild populations for future generations.
Under certain controlled circumstances, restocking of freshwater fish will help to maintain and improve an ecosystem. However, it is not a panacea, and great care must be taken that species are matched to the right ecosystem and that harmful non-native species are not inadvertently introduced. Improvement of the aquatic environment is often a more sustainable course of action than stocking. Permission to introduce any fish into English or Welsh inland waters must be sought from the Environment Agency, prior to their introduction.
In Scotland, in any salmon fishery district for which there is a district salmon fishery board, it is necessary for a person to obtain written permission of the board before introducing any salmon to inland waters in the district.
When it is brought into force, the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act 2007 will make provisions for the regulation, by order of Scottish Ministers, of introductions of fish to certain marine waters for the purposes of preventing those waters becoming infected. The 2007 Act will also make it an offence for any person to intentionally introduce live fish or the live spawn of fish into inland waters, or be in possession of such fish or spawn with the intention of introducing them to inland waters, without permission of the appropriate authority. Where the fish are salmon, and the waters are in a district for which there is a district salmon fishery board, the Act specifies that the authority shall be the relevant district salmon fishery board, replacing the current provisions. Where the fish are salmon but there is no board, or where the fish are other than salmon, the appropriate authority is the Scottish Ministers.