Fisheries Management Scotland Annual Conference 2021

Fisheries Management Scotland Annual Conference 2021The Fisheries Management Scotland Annual Conference took place on Tuesday 23 March and was attended by over 150 delegates. The event focussed on protecting our aquatic environment for future generations.

At a time when our aquatic environments are facing unprecedented challenges due to climate change and human impacts, our conference provided a much-needed focus on three key areas – how we can address the crisis facing wild Atlantic salmon, how we manage the many pressures on our aquatic environments and crucially, how we can work together to achieve these objectives.

Dr Alan Wells, Chief Executive of Fisheries Management Scotland said: “Our conference provides a unique opportunity to showcase the incredible work that our members – the Fishery Trusts and District Salmon Fishery Boards – undertake across Scotland. The ongoing pandemic has been very challenging for the fisheries management community – both financially and logistically. However, Fisheries Management Scotland and our members continued to deliver essential actions to protect the aquatic environment, including vital work with Police Scotland to protect fisheries and extensive work to protect and enhance the habitats on which our native fish depend.

“Our capacity to respond to the wild salmon crisis is strengthened through our membership of the Missing Salmon Alliance. Fisheries Management Scotland members are already delivering essential work to protect and enhance salmon stocks in Scotland. Through the Alliance our collective capacity to address the pressures which wild salmon face will be significantly enhanced.”

Our conference considered a range of topics, including understanding and quantifying the pressures that salmon face, managing interactions with aquaculture, taking action to mitigate against climate-induced warming of our rivers, maximising the habitat available to migratory fish and improving water quality through riparian improvement. Our final session explored how the Missing Salmon Alliance will help us deal with the wild salmon crisis.

The Conference also marked the launch of the 2021 Fisheries Management Scotland Annual Review. The review reports on many of the actions delivered by Fisheries Management Scotland and our members during a challenging year and includes preliminary catches and river reports from across Scotland for the 2020 season. The Review is now available on the Fisheries Management Scotland website.