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.
With the recent catastrophic flooding during the winter of 2015/16 the AST has received many enquiries regarding the impact of flooding on rivers and the production of salmon and sea trout. Tony Andrews wrote a blog "Some Thoughts on Floods" and the GWCT has kindly granted us permission to publish this very informative article “Salmonids in Floods” to help explain how floods affect salmon. We hope you find the information useful.
12 Feb 2016
The Atlantic Salmon Trust and the River Dee Trust organised a seminar to discuss acoustic tracking programmes and technological developments, drawing on experiences from both sides of the Atlantic.
11 Jan 2016
Exciting opportunity for a dynamic and proactive administrator with a passion for people and nature.
1 Jan 2016
A new Chairman, Executive Director and refreshed Board of Directors were appointed at the December 2015 AGM at Fishmongers Hall following the retirement of current post-holders. The announcement of Robbie Douglas-Miller as Chairman, and Sarah Bayley Slater as Executive Director, has been made separately.
14 Dec 2015
It is with great sadness that we report the death of our former Executive Director, Rear Admiral John Mackenzie, who served the AST with distinction between 1985 and 1997.
29 Nov 2015
Ivor Llewelyn, AST's Director in England, points the way to successful conservation of England's wild Atlantic salmon.
7 Nov 2015
Predation of wild Atlantic salmon & sea trout: a personal view.
24 Sep 2015
Are Natural Rivers and Salmon Stocks the Key to Sustainable Populations?
24 Aug 2015
Salmon Marine Mortality. Fact or Myth?