Fish & Fisheries News

Tuesday January 18, 2022

Tracking & protecting our young wild salmon

There is currently very little known about what happens to juvenile wild Atlantic Salmon as they journey from our rivers to the sea, however we do know that their numbers are in crisis, dropping from 8-10 million in the mid-1980s to 2-3 million today. To improve our understanding of what is happening to these salmon, and the factors that are causing this decline, the Missing Salmon Alliance, convened and funded by the Company’s Fisheries Charitable Trust are conducting two ambitious tracking programmes across Scotland. By better understanding what is causing this decline, we can then work to begin to halt and reverse the trend and secure a future for this iconic species. The below videos provide an overview of the tracking projects’ objectives and work so far, with initial results to be shared in the coming months.

The Moray Firth Tracking Project

The Moray Firth Tracking Project is a key element of the Missing Salmon Alliance’s work, providing valuable information to help understand smolt migration routes, and to identify the threats they face on their journey to sea. When launched in Spring 2019, the Moray Firth Tracking Project was the largest, most ambitious acoustic tracking project to ever be undertaken in Europe.

West Coast Tracking Project

Right now, there is very little information of what happens to our young salmon as they journey around our coasts. This presents a number of problems when trying to safeguard this important species. If we do not know where they are going, for example, we cannot make informed decisions to minimise the impact from the dangers they face. The West Coast Tracking Project will fill this gap in our knowledge, tracking wild Atlantic salmon over a three-year period to better understand their migration routes and, ultimately, to inform policy on how best to look after them.

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