The Scottish Wildlife Trust welcomes the Scottish Government’s response to a report by the cross-sector Salmon Interactions Working Group and is calling for urgent and concerted action to reverse the decline of Scotland’s wild salmon.
The working group’s report, which was published in May 2020, sets out 42 actions to improve protection for wild salmon and sea trout, collectively known as salmonids.
Dr Sam Collin, the Trust’s Living Seas Manager, represented Scottish Environment LINK on the group. He said: “Scotland’s Atlantic salmon populations have been in decline for decades. This iconic species is under threat from a range of pressures including unsustainable aquaculture. Without urgent action there is a very real prospect of losing salmon from our lochs and rivers altogether.
“We’re pleased to see the Scottish Government supports the recommendations put forward by the working group. It has already delivered one of the key recommendations of the working group by appointing SEPA to take on the responsibility of addressing the impact of salmon farming on wild salmonids, and we look forward to engaging further with them on this important issue.
“We encourage the Government to move quickly on the other recommendations made by the group to ensure needed changes in regulation are made without delay. An important first step towards reversing the decline is to deliver stronger regulation of the aquaculture industry to help reduce the pressure on wild salmon from sea lice and escapes from salmon farms.”
The Salmon Interactions Working Group was made up of representatives from the Scottish Government, industry regulators, the salmon farming industry, wild fisheries and conservation charities. It was established in 2018 to provide recommendations on how to address the impact of salmon aquaculture on wild salmonids.
Find out more about Atlantic salmon