Scottish wild salmon count, investigation into decline begin

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The Government of Scotland has announced a GBP 700,000 plan to find the true reason for Scotland’s declining stocks of wild salmon .

The support includes GBP 500,000 to sample, research and then monitor the numbers of juvenile wild salmon in rivers and upon their return from lives spent at sea. The survival rate of salmon during their marine phase has fallen from around 25 percent to 5 percent over the last 40 years.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham hinted that there were more reasons than one for the stock’s decline but that the country had to do what it could to protect salmon numbers.

“The decline in wild salmon numbers is due to a range of complex factors,” Cunningham was quoted as saying.

“This investment will accelerate and enhance joint work to try to quantify and mitigate a wide-ranging list of potential pressures on Scottish salmon stocks, such as forestry, hydro, barriers to migration, predation, illegal poaching, salmon farming, invasive non-native species, inshore and offshore developments and diffuse pollution. No single one of these, tackled alone, will secure the recovery of our wild salmon stocks.”

Last year, the BBC reported invasive pink salmon had been spawning in the River Ness near Inverness, and the local fishery board said they, too, were “unlikely to have a positive impact”. The year also saw intrusions of the species in the Norwegian river, Guddalselva.