Fisheries Management Scotland have developed a suite of Apps to help the public to report issues that they see affecting our wild Atlantic salmon and freshwater fish. Our apps allow users to report information to a central database so that the information can be assessed and passed to the relevant organisation as appropriate. For example, for fish disease reports the Scottish Government’s Fish Health Inspectorate will receive an automated notification every time a record is submitted. This is one element of our wider work to address the range of pressures which our wild salmon and freshwater fish are facing. The threats we are looking for information are:
- Pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) – these were originally introduced to some Russian rivers in the 1960s, and they have slowly spread westwards to colonise some northern Norwegian rivers. Since 2017, they have been appearing in UK rivers in larger numbers – see the data in our interactive dashboard. Due to their two-year life-cycle they will usually appear in odd years. We anticipate the arrival of these fish in summer 2023.
- Disease in wild fish There are a number of diseases which have the potential to impact wild fish. These include fungal, viral and bacterial infections which can cause serious issues for our wild Atlantic salmon.
- Escapes of farmed fish Scotland’s wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout are genetically adapted to life in the wild. Farmed salmon are domesticated strains of salmon which are bred to thrive in a farm environment and are not well adapted to surviving in the wild. Escapes of farmed salmon can have negative impacts on wild salmon populations through genetic impacts arising from interbreeding. Marine Scotland Science recently published a national assessment of the influence of farmed salmon escapes on the genetic integrity of wild Scottish Atlantic salmon populations which can be viewed here.
Below is a summary of news articles in response to our call for people to report information through our new apps.