Britain’s third richest man launches “largest ever” research programme on wild Atlantic salmon

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Ineos chairman Sir Jim Radcliffe working with Imperial College in London and the Icelandic Marine Freshwater and Research Institute (MFRI).

The Sunday Post reports that the boss and founder of the chemical giant Ineos is launching a major new project to recover salmon populations across the world.

Radcliffe is worth an estimated GBP 18.15bn putting him third in the Sunday Times Rich List, though for a time, he was Britain’s wealthiest man. His company up to sells 60 million tonnes of petrochemicals a year and has rights to explore for shale gas in parts of the north of England and the East Midlands.

He said: “I am determined to do everything I can to help protect this magnificent fish which is getting perilously close to extinction.

“I believe that the project informed by the Imperial College and MFRI research will help salmon thrive in these waters, not just in the short term but for generations to come.”

Dr Peter Williams, group technology director at Ineos, added: “The Atlantic Salmon population has fallen to one-quarter of its 1970s level. Most species with this level of decline would be categorised as endangered.

“This is an internationally important research and conservation programme, is the largest ever, never having been undertaken on this scale before.

“With the high level of science being applied here and the significance to nature conservation in general, we hope the governments of the countries concerned will also support the project.”

In 2016, fly fisherman Radcliffe bought a 300 sq km area in Iceland, subsequently becoming one the country’s largest landowners. He said it was for a partnership with the Strengur Angling club Ratcliffe will help preserve north-Atlantic salmon stocks in Iceland by building ‘salmon ladders’ on key rivers.

However, criticism has been levelled at the self-made billionaire as he solely controls of angling rights in some of the best salmon rivers in Iceland.