UK tries to tackle decline in wild salmon population

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The wild salmon population in the UK is currently among the lowest on record.

England’s Environment Agency recently launched a consultation, in order to better manage salmon fishing and reduce the impact on wild salmon stocks, reports the Atlantic Salmon Federation.

The consultation will also look at the impact that any restrictions could have on those whose livelihoods and interests depend on salmon. The consultation runs until Monday 9 October and netsmen, fishery managers, anglers and the public are asked to give their views.

The results will be used to issue a formal consultation later this year.

Salmon stocks across the Atlantic are challenged by a number of factors including marine survival and barriers to migration. The Environment Agency is working with partners to restore salmon stocks throughout England.

Heidi Stone, the Environment Agency’s Salmon Programme Manager said:

“The issues facing salmon and the reasons for their decline are complex and there is no simple solution to increasing salmon numbers. Evidence indicates that the marine phase of their lifecycle is the most likely reason for their decline and that fishermen taking salmon is not the primary cause.”

Salmon Five Point Approach

The Environment Agency, Government, Angling Trust, Rivers Trust, Atlantic Salmon Trust, Salmon and Trout Conservation UK, Wild Trout Trust and Institute of Fisheries Management are working together on a  programme called the Salmon Five Point Approach. The consultation is part of this programme.

Priorities of the programe are:

  • Improve marine survival
  • Further reduce exploitation by nets and rods
  • Remove barriers to migration and enhance habitat
  • Safeguard sufficient flows
  • Maximise spawning success by improving water quality