01 June 2022

Missing Salmon Alliance Member calls for urgent Government action as wild salmon crisis deepens

1st June 2022, saw the release of the official Scottish Government Salmon and Sea Trout Fishery Statistics for the 2021 Season.

35,693 Atlantic salmon and 12,636 sea trout were caught in Scotland in 2021. These are the lowest catches since records began in 1952.

They follow years of sustained declines in salmon numbers, affecting rivers across the country.

Fisheries Management Scotland, the representative body for District Salmon Fishery Boards and Fisheries Trusts in Scotland, and member of the Missing Salmon Alliance (MSA), has responded by calling for urgent government action to save the country’s wild salmon stocks and stem job losses

Dr Alan Wells, Chief Executive of Fisheries Management Scotland said, “The Scottish Government recognise in the Wild Salmon Strategy that there is now unequivocal evidence that populations of Atlantic salmon are now at crisis point. The latest figures underline just how grave the situation has become. We are urging the Government to deliver its existing commitments without delay, and to go much further in all the areas where they have the power to make a difference. And we are asking all members of the public to join that call to action

“An iconic national species is at stake, along with the ecosystems which rely on healthy runs of returning salmon. And fragile rural economies which are already struggling because of Covid restrictions and the cost of living crisis are facing a further squeeze from a decline in angling income. Jobs have gone. More are now on the line.”

As a fellow member of the Missing Salmon Alliance, the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust would urge everyone who values their local rivers and their iconic wild salmon to join the Call to Action launched by Fisheries Management Scotland, to speed up delivery of critically-important conservation measures.

Dylan Roberts, Head of Fisheries for GWCT said “The catch statistics published by Scotland today are deeply concerning. We expect to see a similar downwards trend in England and Wales when their catch statistics are published later this year.

Working with our fellow members in the Missing Salmon Alliance, our goal is to bring together our evidence-base in order to collectively influence national and international decision-makers to take action to halt and reverse the decline of wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout.”

The MSA is an alliance of six leading conservation organisations: Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, Atlantic Salmon Trust, the Angling Trust with Fish Legal, The Rivers Trust and Fisheries Management Scotland.

Find out more at: https://www.missingsalmonalliance.org

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