The UK Atlantic Salmon Conservation Charities – Who is Doing What?

castor

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Personally, I think its quite a disappointing article.
As usual, cherry picking examples and cases to prove points rather than using facts.
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In principle, collaboration would be the way forward, but that implies both parties willing to work together.

How is that collaboration working for the Lochy just now? In what seems to be a good year in the East, the Lochy seems to be seriously struggling.

Its also a huge industry in Norway, yet they seem to have less issues than our west coast, simply because we let the Norwegian owned companies, behave different to how they would in their own country.
In what way is that correct?

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Mows

I have cherry-picked a few lines from your post Mows; you have written a very good piece on this whole matter.

You have hit the nail on the head as collaboration is the only way forward. However, I have seen little evidence of the Scot.Gov. being - in any matter of importance - prepared to collaborate with any other body unless that other body is prepared to accept lock stock and barrel the Scot.Gov. view on the matter.

To me one of the major problems is that the salmon farming community has, by its vast spread of financial support for capable research establishments, lready made it impossible for scientists to give totally unbiased opinions, whilst Scot.Gov. controlled facilities are similarly controlled. The possibility of obtaining relevant accurate scientific data and opinion is a virtual 'no-go' due to these factors.

We can only hope that a few very highly placed researchers are so filled with self-disgust that they become whistle blowers.....that none have as yet taken this path.
 
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MCXFisher

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Editor,

please may I have a gold star as class swot, having sat through the whole 58 minutes of the embedded presentation. It was mildly interesting but unfortunately delivered at a pedestrian pace (I suppose having a PHD in herring population studies might influence pace).

For those less earnest, the nub of the hypothesis is that there are too many pelagic fish - mackerel, herring and blue whiting - in the areas to which salmon migrate, leading to food shortages and scrawny, low survival grilse.

For those taking academic aggression pills there's plenty to shoot at, including a perfect graph of ICES salmon population estimates, with its cliff edge coincident with the ending of netting; and the complex interrelationships between various overlapping species cycles. I also notices that none of his graphs of historic survival rates got anywhere near this unicorn-like 35% figure so often banded about, most recently by HRH The Prince of Wales on behalf of the AST.

I vote for STC within the UK (and for banking the AST's overheads).
 

seeking

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Editor,

please may I have a gold star as class swot, having sat through the whole 58 minutes of the embedded presentation. It was mildly interesting but unfortunately delivered at a pedestrian pace (I suppose having a PHD in herring population studies might influence pace).

For those less earnest, the nub of the hypothesis is that there are too many pelagic fish - mackerel, herring and blue whiting - in the areas to which salmon migrate, leading to food shortages and scrawny, low survival grilse.

For those taking academic aggression pills there's plenty to shoot at, including a perfect graph of ICES salmon population estimates, with its cliff edge coincident with the ending of netting; and the complex interrelationships between various overlapping species cycles. I also notices that none of his graphs of historic survival rates got anywhere near this unicorn-like 35% figure so often banded about, most recently by HRH The Prince of Wales on behalf of the AST.

I vote for STC within the UK (and for banking the AST's overheads).

M., Jon Gibb previously posted the video on another SFF thread which generated a lot of contrasting views as ever. It's here:

This might explain a lot....anyone with an interest in salmon should watch this video

IMHO it's good to see Fish&Fly's response above, esp. last two paragraphs, and look forward to seeing the results.:cool:
 

Taddy

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Didnt we humans nearly wipe out herring in the late 40s-50s which led to the decline of atalntic blue fins in the north sea? and mackeral have never recovered properly either,so competition in feeding grounds doesnt wash,what does is over fishing at high seas,and two sets laws for people from different countries fishing the very same waters.as for net buying out well thats leaving the door open for monopolisation of salmon fishing and turning it into a bigger circus than it already is.

We have a lot of clean rivers once again here in the uk and some of the most polluted are now the best,give all uk rivers a jump start if they need it with a small 5 yr restocking programme.rid the coast of nets reduce high sea netting and only sell sustainable caught fish ie rods.also ban fishing in spawing areas from beginning of october time.meaning top end of rivers and tribs.

also some one need to be lookong at each river individuely,for seasons,bag limits,restrictions same as all dams and weirs all out fishery bylaws are very out dated and need updating to modern standards,some season still start in April and March,when neighbouring rivers start at Feb 1st ! the tyne needs its own set of laws same as wear tees and yorskhire rivers who have to wait till april 6th to fish because of some old fashioned netting law made when the world lived in black and white.
 
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Cooper

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From my view point, and from reading what Jon Gibb has written, the three main salmon conservation bodies in the UK are very different but ALL have an important role to play. Merging them would lose their individual focus and approach. Here would be my summary:

  1. Atlantic Salmon Trust (AST): Scientific. Spend on research projects (mainly at sea now).
  2. Salmon & Trout Conservation UK (STC): Political. Lobby in the corridors of power & through media.
  3. North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF): Practical. Pay netsmen not to net salmon.

I have to say, until proper data gathering is put in place - (counting adults back and smolts out) - the practical way gets most of my money! (I am member of STC however). But I would eagerly fund proper "data-gathering" projects river by river.


Cooper
 
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seeking

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Innes' post missing?

From my view point, and from reading what Jon Gibb has written, the three main salmon conservation bodies in the UK are very different but ALL have an important role to play. Merging them would lose their individual focus and approach. Here would be my summary:

  1. Atlantic Salmon Trust (AST): Scientific. Spend on research projects (mainly at sea now).
  2. Salmon & Trout Conservation UK (STC): Political. Lobby in the corridors of power & through media.
  3. North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF): Practical. Pay netsmen not to net salmon.

I have to say, until proper data gathering is put in place - (counting adults back and smolts out) - the practical way gets most of my money! (I am member of STC however). But I would eagerly fund proper "data-gathering" projects river by river.


Cooper


Welcome to the forum. Interesting. I think the last time the STC went "lobbying in the corridors of power and in the media" they did the salmon fishery and all anglers a major disservice: WFR, Classification. Vilification more like. It's hard to argue the moral high ground against Aquaculture when you've declared salmon extinct on the back of 2014's poor rod catch and blamed anglers for "killing too many fish". Personally stopped giving to them a few years ago partly because of machinations online but also because of the whopping emoluments.

If pressed my preference always was towards the AST, despite their recent apparent loss of focus to the unscientific speculation that most of the SCS appears to have succumbed to in the rush for shock fake news, big salaries and flash offices. But anyway, will await the results of Fish & Fly's requests to them all for more clarity / transparency before swaying one way or the other and lending any more cash and support.

All IMHO of course, harmless and could be wrong.
 

Glenboig

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The work needed to be ongoing to keep the stock levels the way they were. But we found we were spending more time arguing to be left to do the required work than we did actually doing the work. That wore us down in the end. "You cannot carry on doing the work that improved the river in case you harm the river" sort of sh!t. We wanted to see just how good a fishery we could make the Creed, but the powers, rather than encouraging this, threw a bag of spanners in the works. And they used "science" to do this.

Terms like "natural state" should be avoided in most river management because there is precious little natural environment left in the UK. Salmon need all the help they can get.

Roag Fisher,
I'm just getting round to reading this thread, and have to commend you on your efforts, however I am saddened by what you say are the stumbling blocks that were put in your way essentially de-railing what was undoubtedly an important body of work.

It frustrates me - and I see a similar picture painted by Colin M on his re-stocking thread - that those with the desire to do something practical rather than endless electrofishing surveys or juvenile density data gathering are prevented form helping the salmon.

Gathering data is all well and good - and keeps a biologist in a job - but I've yet to see it being put to a practical use. Personally I would love for a project to gather the data on 10,000 goosander stomachs each year over a ten year period, then if there was no conclusive outcome, continue for the next 10 years etc.
 

Glenboig

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We can only hope that a few very highly placed researchers are so filled with self-disgust that they become whistle blowers.....that none have as yet taken this path.

I agree Castor,

Let's hope that some of those who are newly retired and no longer financially handcuffed to the companies will do as you say.
 

seeking

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By way of clarification Fish and Fly and many of our Members have for many years supported numerous fishing related charities both with funds, auction lots and marketing.

NASF has been the most pro-active with us and as a result with Colin Bradshaw and Paul Sharman I have been fortunate to have worked with Orri Vigfusson for many years. I fished with Orri on his favourite Icelandic rivers, talked with him on a regular basis and last met him a few weeks ago in London when he confided in me about his illness. Apart from discussing a proposed fund raising dinner we talked at some length about succession. We both knew that despite the enthusiastic global army of volunteers and his personal assistant Orri and the NASF was effectively one ‘brand’. Without him there would be challenges in continuing with his effective strategies to bring salmon numbers back to their natural abundance and to continue with his tremendous ability to raise essential funds.

Following our meeting Fish and Fly decided to commission a thought provoking article by Jon Gibb a well-respected Scottish salmon fishery manager and angling writer about the various Salmon Conservation Charities. We hope this and the discussion that follows will help potential donors to better understand the issues and where funds are utilised.

Some good points have been raised in the posts above and to increase clarity and transparency further we are asking the main charities to respond to many of the points. Subject to the responses we can then produce a more definitive paper based on our findings. One certain thing is the charities are all committed to improving salmon stocks.


I hope members of this forum appreciate us investing in ‘guest’ content on such important subjects as this.

Best regards

Richard Hewitt

P.S. Fortunately as you will see from the link below it does seem there is a good future for NASF and that an Orri fund will be set up shortly to fund its commitments especially with relation to the buy-out of nets.

Honouring the Legacy of Orri Vigfusson

Hi Richard :)

Just coming back to this and highlighting the relevant bit.

Did you ever get any feedback to this that you can publish on this thread?

I'm sure given recent developments affecting salmon angling in UK now is a very apposite time?

Look forward to any response, thanks.

Regards :)
 

John Gorrod

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Like any other thread that is in danger of going off-topic I am just steering this one back in the direction we (as the OP's in this instance) wish it to take - this thread is not about salmon farming, it is about the different salmon charities and conservation organisations out there. If you wish to discuss this further you are free to PM me.

The main question we were seeking to answer in commissioning this piece was "But who is doing what and which ones are going to give any deeply worried salmon angler who wants to contribute, the most ‘bang for his or her buck’?"
As you say it is very difficult to keep responders on topic.
It seems to me that all angling, fishing charities need to speak with a single voice because the first thing any politician wants to know is how many people do you speak for. The more people you represent the more they react to your needs as most politicians and political parties live with the constant fear or becoming deselected / voted out or irrelevant. It is a very unforgiving business in which numbers count.
Having said all that I think you also need to look outside the UK at some of the international organisations who are dealing with an even bigger problem which is the wholesale plundering of the worlds oceans by overfishing and pollution. Viewing the Netflix film on this subject is a must for all of us who are interested in saving our rivers and waterways but the only way we can make a difference is by all interested charities and organisations forgetting any differences in their aims and purpose and to garner support on an international scale just like Greenpeace and others do. Size really does matter when it comes to changing hearts and minds. Frankly we should start by forgetting we are Interested in English or Scottish or Welsh rivers and act as one UK force. That UK force then represents us at an international level and it might well include the small coastal fisherman and others who stand to lose everything if we don’t act now. Sewerage dumping, pollution, plastics (including commercial fisherman’s equipment) bottom trawling, bye catch, sand eel fishing for fertiliser, farming runoff, forestry runoff and a hundred more issues which need addressing but most importantly we need the public to start to recognise that we are trespassing upon the very environment which fish and other waterborne creatures live and survive in. We have got the world thinking about global warming and air pollution so surely the next step is to persuade the public that all their efforts to rid the world of polluting greenhouse gasses is a worthless exercise if we do not also make a serious and concerted effort to clean up our oceans and waterways and our fishing practices at the same time . This requires all interested bodies to create a single forum which speaks with one voice. Sounds Grand doesn’t it but making it happen is going to be the problem as everyone, however, well meaning has their own agenda. My only suggestion is that we start with our various angling trusts and charities etc maybe also our small coastal fishermen creating a dedicated forum, inviting others to join / participate, getting political sponsorship and then seeking out others internationally with a similar agenda. Can we find one dedicated person of international standing to step forward and lead us lesser mortals into battle. Suggestions on a postcard please.
 

BlennyBoy

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Editor,

please may I have a gold star as class swot, having sat through the whole 58 minutes of the embedded presentation. It was mildly interesting but unfortunately delivered at a pedestrian pace (I suppose having a PHD in herring population studies might influence pace).

For those less earnest, the nub of the hypothesis is that there are too many pelagic fish - mackerel, herring and blue whiting - in the areas to which salmon migrate, leading to food shortages and scrawny, low survival grilse.
The lack of food seems to result from a drop in planktonic life in the sea. If the total biomass of the sea was healthy then the increase in pelagic fish would not be such a problem.
What was not clear was if the increase in mackerel herring and blue whiting in the North Atlantic was the result of warming seas sending them further north, because we have seen a drop in mackerel down here in the south. Those that do turn up are also very small.
Overall I found the presentation convincing if a hard listen.
 
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