Fisheries Management Scotland call for salmon conservation to become a national priority

The official Scottish Government salmon catch statistics for 2018  were released today. These are the lowest since records began in 1952. Environmental change, and a range of human impacts across the Northern Hemisphere are placing salmon at risk across their natural range.

Dr Alan Wells, Chief Executive of Fisheries Management Scotland said, “Salmon catches in Scotland have reached the lowest levels ever recorded. Figures for 2018, taken together with those of recent years, confirm this iconic species is now approaching crisis point.

“Some of the factors impacting on wild salmon stocks may be beyond human control. But Scotland’s Government and regulatory authorities now have a historic opportunity to do everything in their power to safeguard the species in those areas where they can make a difference. Salmon conservation must become a national priority in what is the International Year of the Salmon.

“We are calling on all regulatory authorities urgently to place a renewed emphasis on the crucial importance of salmon conservation. There are many examples where positive interventions have already helped, but more must be done. This will require Scottish Government and agencies to coordinate their efforts to protect salmon in a way that really isn’t happening currently.”

Further background

Declining rod catches have a knock-on effect on fragile rural economies and reduce the ability of managers to raise money to support management and restoration activities. The most recent Scotland-wide economic impact assessment of wild fisheries indicated around £135m of angler expenditure, 4,300 full-time equivalent jobs and £79.9m Gross Value Added (GVA) in 2014 – the monetary value of the contribution to the economy made by an industry.