Fisheries Management Scotland welcome the publication of the plan and urge concerted action on delivery
Fisheries Management Scotland have welcomed the publication of the Wild Salmon Strategy Implementation Plan. The Implementation Plan sets out a range of actions which build on the Strategy published in January 2022. A delivery group of stakeholders will be established to oversee and direct the delivery of the plan, and this group will review and shape the programme of work to adapt to new evidence and other policy developments. Delivery of the plan will require Scottish Government, Agencies, the private and charity sectors to work together and coordinate action to prioritise the protection and recovery of Scotland’s wild Atlantic salmon populations.
Dr Alan Wells, Chief Executive of Fisheries Management Scotland said, “The publication of the Wild Salmon Strategy Implementation Plan is an important step in protecting and restoring our wild salmon. We are pleased to see that the plan reflects a number of priority areas that Fisheries Management Scotland and our members have been advocating for. It is now crucial that concerted action is taken to deliver the plan in full. Catches of salmon in 2021 (the latest records available) were the lowest since records began in 1952. This follows years of sustained declines in salmon numbers, affecting rivers across the country. We urgently need coordinated action to deliver the specific actions that our wild salmon need, and ensure that wider efforts to protect and restore the environment take full account of the needs of salmon.
“There is widespread and passionate interest in ensuring that our wild salmon survive and thrive. Everyone who values their local rivers and their iconic wild salmon can help us to ensure swift delivery of critically-important conservation measures by joining our national Call to Action.”
The implementation plan includes actions in five key areas:
- Improving the condition of rivers and giving salmon free access to cold, clean water.
- Managing exploitation through effective regulation, deterrents and enforcement
- Understanding and mitigating pressures in the marine and coastal environment
- Making a positive contribution through international collaborations
- Developing a modernised and fit for purpose policy framework
A number of actions can be taken quickly to support our wild salmon. These include supporting crucial work to enhance the sustainability of our rivers, through planting riverside trees to mitigate climate-induced warming, accelerating action to improve water quality and quantity, removing barriers to fish migration and delivering a reformed regulatory system that protects wild fish from the impacts of fish farming.
The plan also covers science and evidence, including the establishment of a Scientific Advisory Board to coordinate and harmonise research and monitoring activities across science organisations and regulators. The delivery group will also prepare a Strategic Communication Plan to enable the key messages set out in the Strategy and the Plan to be widely promoted, raising awareness of the status of and threats to salmon among relevant sectors, authorities and the general public. The Delivery Group will oversee progress and will publish a concise report annually.
The strategy can be viewed on the Scottish Government website.
Fisheries Management Scotland, Forth Rivers Trust and Spey Fishery Board were members of the Wild Salmon Strategy Implementation Plan Advisory Group, alongside the Atlantic Salmon Trust – one of our partners in the Missing Salmon Alliance. The full membership is published in the Implementation Plan.