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.
A primary aim of the AST’s tracking coordinator, Dr. Matt Newton is to form collaborations between groups using telemetry to understand more about salmon and sea trout migration and survival. The first basic step in doing this is understanding where those groups are. This week Matt has travelled to the Flanders Marine Institute in Belgium (VLIZ) http://www.vliz.be/en to meet with researchers who are forming the European Telemetry Network. Dr. Jan Reubens and colleagues at VLIZ have been working on a telemetry database for two years now and it provides an exciting platform for the formation of collaborations, open data and resource sharing. At the basic level the database will enable users to see where neighbouring projects are. However it has been developed further to enable to incorporation of tagging data. It is possible to upload detection data and tag data to the database thus helping identify if fish have been detected on neighbouring telemetry networks. This is particularly important for migratory species such as salmon which have the potential to transit through multiple telemetry arrays.
The database is undergoing some significant upgrades in the coming months and is expected to be rolled out to the wider telemetry users across Europe in 2018. The AST will be helping promote the database within the UK, the more projects stored within the database will enable a more holistic view of fish movements around the British Isles.
The AST has responded to the NRW consultation on proposed byelaw changes to catch controls to help protect vulnerable salmon and sea trout stocks and fisheries. As we made clear in our response to the Environment Agency’s consultation on reducing exploitation of salmon in England, we believe that on rivers with threatened salmon stocks (ie rivers that are consistently failing to meet their conservation limits) it is essential to maximise the numbers of salmon that survive to spawn, and so as a matter of principle no potential spawner on such a river should be deliberately killed. In our view the same principle should apply to sea trout, although we accept that the identification of the most threatened stocks is more difficult, given the uncertainties of the current assessment methods. We therefore support the proposed byelaws for both rods and nets, including proposals for mandatory catch and release.
While we appreciate that mandatory catch and release will be unpopular with some anglers, we believe that it would remove any ambiguity about the need to return all salmon and sea trout caught where and when it applied, and would create a level playing field for anglers: efforts by the vast majority to conserve salmon and sea trout would not be undermined by a small minority continuing to kill fish. Mandatory catch and release has worked well for spring salmon and, despite, initial opposition, is now generally accepted.
Join us at the Mayfair Curzon Cinema, London on the 12th December for Christmas Drinks. This evening event includes the launch of the Moray Firth Acoustic Tracking Project and London Premier of the film Atlantic Salmon: Lost at Sea
Download Invitation: AST Acoustic Tracking & Lost at Sea Christmas Invite
Acoustic Tracking Project
In 2017 the AST recruited Dr. Matt Newton as Coordinator for the Acoustic Tracking Project. This project, which will use the most advanced tracking technology, aims to determine the level and causes of mortality in salmon smolts as they migrate to sea and in the marine environment. Dr. Newton will present to you a major salmon tracking project proposed for the Moray Firth to take place in 2019. This exciting project will include a number of important Scottish Salmon Rivers and track salmon further than ever before in UK waters and will be a pilot for work that can be developed on the West Coast to better understand the interactions of wild salmonids and fish farms.
Atlantic Salmon – Lost at Sea (THE FILM)
Lost at Sea takes the viewer on an epic journey through the oceanic kingdom of the Atlantic Salmon in an attempt to unravel the mystery of their life at sea. Populations of salmon are plummeting to critical levels, even going extinct in some southern rivers. Despite conservation efforts worldwide, populations continue to fall. The cause is mortality at sea. For the very first time, scientists are able to track the salmon from the rivers, through the estuaries and into the vast North Atlantic and back again in hopes of finding an answer before it is too late. Feature length film directed and produced by Deirdre Brennan, filmed by award winning wildlife cameraman Rick Rosenthal (The Blue Planet) and narrated by actor Gabriel Byrne.
Seats are limited so please contact Pamela to book in for this event: email@example.com
New Website coming soon: http://www.atlanticsalmonlostatsea.net
Annual General Meeting of the River Spey Anglers Association (RSSA). By invitation to Members and Committee.
AST Executive Director Sarah Bayley Slater and Acoustic Tracking Coordinator Dr. Matt Newton will join the Members and Committee of the River Spey Anglers Association for their AGM on Monday 20th November 2017.
We are pleased to have been asked to speak to the Anglers Association to share news on recent research involving tracking of salmon at sea, and to discuss the threats and plight of the wild Atlantic salmon alongside Roger Knight, Director of the Spey Fishery Board who will describe the ongoing work of all parties on the Spey.
The evening will close with the award of the Alan Smith Trophy for most improved Junior angler as well as other prize givings.
RSAA committee member Alan Liddle will be on hand to demo some fly tying and chat about all things fishing!