State of North Atlantic Salmon Report

3 Mar

The Environment Agency have recently circulated an email highlighting that:

“The North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO) have recently published the first ever State of North Atlantic Salmon Report to raise awareness about the state of Atlantic salmon stocks during the International Year of the Salmon. The report highlights that Atlantic salmon are a species in crisis.”

Here is a link to the report on line. For convenience to save downloading the report, I also attach a PDF version.

This report should help inform discussions about the future of salmon, and deserves to be circulated as widely as possible, including to those who do not fish.

It is also interesting to note that in the same email, the EA are saying that “It is very rare that winter flooding will have a significant or lasting impact on fish populations”, when in a previous report in 2016 they stated regarding storm Desmond that “These extreme high flow events coincided with the salmon spawning period and may have caused mortality due to the wash-out of eggs and alevins from redds and/or sediment deposition in the redds.”

It looks as if these high flow events are becoming more usual and may do lasting damage.


NASCO Report

RSPCA paid over £500,000 to back Scottish salmon industry

20 Feb

Please see this link to a recent article by the Sunday Times exposing what many would see as an insupportable financial benefit to the RSPCA from Scottish salmon farmers. The tweets further down the blog probably reflect the views of many of us.

The same blogger has a pretty comprehensive trail here of reported welfare issues in Scottish salmon farms.

Please make sure that as many people as possible are aware of this by circulating it – not just to fishermen, but to those who buy farmed salmon and the wider public at large.

The more people who are aware of the situation, the greater will be the pressure for corrective action.


29 Jan

Following the trial last summer of modified beach nets, the Environment Agency has now launched a consultation on a potential extension to the Yorkshire and North East coastal sea trout netting season.

The EA’s own documents attached to this consultation state:

“The latest assessments of sea trout stocks contributing to the coastal net fishery indicate the Coquet, Wear, Tees and Yorkshire Esk sea trout stocks are probably at risk.

Rod catches have shown a marked downward trend, falling to historically low levels on a number of rivers. The Tyne is assessed as probably not at risk, although the sea trout rod catch also shows a downward trend since 2010.

In Scotland, sea trout from the River Tweed catchment contribute to catches in the North East coastal net fishery. Since 2010, rod catches of sea trout on the Tweed have shown a declining trend, with the 2018 rod catch of 775 being the lowest since 1984.”

In light of this decline in catches and with nearly all major rivers in our area probably at risk, it is surely folly to continue netting for sea trout, let alone contemplate extending the season.



Please take a few minutes to make your views known – that really is all it will take. You can have your say on-line, or post the attached Response form to Jon Shelley

This consultation runs from 20th January to 21st February – do not miss this chance to have your say!

Consultation on stocking of salmon rivers

12 Jan

There is a petition ongoing regarding stocking of salmon rivers in Scotland. The deadline for submissions is 28th January. The reason for this petition is to urge Marine Scotland, a government agency, to undertake a full and formal consultation before announcing their policy – something you would have thought was only common sense?

The background to this petition, brought by the Scottish Gamekeeper Association, is noted below, together with a link to the petition. Whatever your views about stocking salmon rivers, we would urge you to support this petition which would require a properly informed decision to be made bearing in mind all stakeholders.

“The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) Fishing Group believes Marine Scotland, a government agency, should carry out a full and formal stakeholder consultation before announcing a definitive policy on the stocking of Scotland’s salmon rivers.

The pros and cons of stocking salmon rivers are debated. The SGA Fishing Group believes the interests of conservation are critical but that these interests also ought to be balanced against the need to preserve viable wild fisheries in Scotland, with the jobs and economic benefits for local communities which are attached to them.
Scotland boasts salmon rivers and angler experiences which are known the world over, generating £135m per year in angler spend.

The SGA Fishing Group believes that, done properly with agreed protocols, and with local stakeholder knowledge having a role to play alongside the best science, Marine Scotland can arrive at a policy beneficial to both conservation and angling communities.

The concern is that Marine Scotland is to usher in a rushed policy without having undergone a full and comprehensive stakeholder consultation, as would be expected when decisions of magnitude are taken.

To date, Marine Scotland has formed an outline policy position and has then taken the idea out to river board representatives in the expectation of building approval before announcing a decision.

The position remains contentious and the SGA Fishing Group believes – as is the case with all good policy – that all stakeholders should be consulted properly and formally before decisions are taken.

Millions of pounds have been invested in stocking facilities in Scotland. Investors, and those whose work makes these hatcheries operate, must be heard fully, along with the ghillies working in these systems. We therefore believe a full consultation is right and proper.”

Sign petition here