The Atlantic Salmon Trust aims to be the definitive resource for information about salmon and sea trout, their remarkable lives and the threats that today are jeopardizing their very survival. We have a comprehensive collection of fish facts, a learning zone for schoolchildren and our huge archive of news and research.
One of the most amazing - and moving – sights in nature is that of the mature Atlantic salmon leaping up waterfalls, weirs and fish passes on its way home to spawn. It's a sight that can be guaranteed to fascinate onlookers, whether they fish or not. Indeed, for the non-angler, it may well be the first and only time they see salmon, and come to appreciate what a truly marvellous, brave and indomitable animal this is, and how it earned its Roman name: Salmo salar, salmon the leaper.
Following the ground breaking SALSEA project, the AST has refreshed its strategy to encompass the whole lives of Atlantic salmon and sea trout in all their habitats, at sea and in fresh water.
Atlantic salmon are anadromous, migratory fish which means they spend part of their life in the ocean but they breed and lay their eggs in freshwater. At each stage of the life cycle of the salmon distinct changes take place. In fact it was not until the first part of the 19th century that it was proven that the adult Atlantic salmon was the same species as the striped parr found in the rivers. Watch our interactive movie which tells the story of this journey.
Since then we have acquired a reputation as an influential advocate for salmon conservation within the United Kingdom. Traditionally our work has been in the freshwater environment, but more recently we have focused on the lives of wild salmon at sea.
In the first thirty years of the AST's existence the challenges of trying to reduce mixed stocks exploitation by coastal and drift nets and the growing impacts on the well being of salmon and sea trout dominated our work. The Trust was influential in establishing the international treaty organisation NASCO to deal with the issue of high seas exploitation of salmon. The Trust was also a founding member of the Tripartite Working Group which attempted to reconcile the conflicting interests of commercial salmon farming and wild fisheries management. Some progress has been made with both these issues, but problems remain and we continue to work on them.
The 'sea change' for AST came with the highly innovative SALSEA project inspired by AST's research director Dr Richard Shelton who led the pioneering stage of what turned out to be the largest international project focussing on the wild Atlantic salmon ever mounted. The data from that project continue to influence scientific reach in all the salmon countries of the North Atlantic region.
In the wake of the SALSEA project, and with fisheries and rivers trusts well established throughout the UK, AST is once again free to adopt a thought leadership role in conservation of the Atlantic salmon and sea trout. That refreshed role is taking the Trust into the deepest parts of the Atlantic Ocean, following the migrations of salmon to their arctic feeding grounds and back to their givers of birth.
The conservation message AST takes to scientific groups, fisheries and river managers, anglers and the public is that we must return these iconic species to the abundance of yesteryear. The Trust promotes the well being of wild fish, naturally grown from eggs laid by wild fish that belong genetically to each river. Fish returning to those rivers from a natural stock to regenerate and sustain that stock is the key message. The role of man as the 'wise hunter' is to ensure that the structure, health and abundance of each stock is such that its future is assured. Good husbandry, supported by knowledge from scientific data and management experience is the key, and that is what AST stands for.
22 May 2015
Statistics on rod catches form the basis of nearly all assessments of the state of sea trout stocks, and of changes in stock levels from year to year. But despite their importance, there are problems with the collection and interpretation of the data on catches and effort - the time anglers spend fishing for sea trout.
20 May 2015
The visit of AST's Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales, to the Galway Marine a Institute underlines his interest in and commitment to improving our understanding of the impact of climate change on the oceans and effects of ocean warming on important species such as the wild Atlantic salmon.
13 May 2015
This major event will build on the success of the 1st International Symposium on the 'Biology, Conservation and Management of Sea Trout' held in Cardiff, Wales in 2004. Its overall objective will be to promote the application of the latest science to the better management of sea trout stocks and their associated fisheries.
24 Feb 2015
Warm temperatures invite new fish species and 'evict' coldwater species.
22 Apr 2015
Wild Atlantic Salmon encounter many problems during their migrations
31 Mar 2015
Biodiversity is the key to salmon survival
11 Feb 2015
Scottish Government fast tracks conservation of wild Atlantic salmon in time for the 2016 season.
16 Jan 2015
AST 2015 AUCTION - THE BEST EVER?