Spring salmon protection explored

Leaping Salmon 2Scottish Government News Release

Minister announces consultation to protect early-running spring salmon

Options designed to take proactive action to protect the early-running spring salmon that are at particularly low levels across Scotland, will shortly be consulted on by the Scottish Government.

Early today, in response to a written PQ from Rob Gibson MSP, Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, Paul Wheelhouse, announced that he intended to consult on statutory conservation measures, to be effective for commencement in 2015 requiring mandatory catch and release until 1 April, together with a delay in the start of the net fishing season. Continue reading

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Mounting concern about underwater noise pollution harming marine wildlife

Leaping Salmon 3Marine wildlife is being killed, deformed, injured, traumatised and subjected to dangerous levels of stress by a crescendo of underwater noise from ships and offshore industry, scientists are warning.

Whales, squid, fish, crabs and shellfish are all suffering from the rising din being made by propellers, engines and subsea drilling, prompting demands for quieter ships and the introduction of “quiet areas” in the seas.

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Herald Scotland

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Migrating Atlantic salmon findings published

Leaping Salmon 2Marine Scotland Science has published findings of a study looking at the behaviour of homeward migrating salmon in the ICES Journal of Marine Science.

The study is part of a research programme, funded by the Scottish Government, which aims to identify and minimise any disruptions to wildlife as the marine renewable energy industry develops.Using coastal nets on the Northern coast of Scotland, 50 large salmon were captured as they returned to their home rivers to spawn. They were fitted with data recording tags that logged depth, temperature and light levels at frequent intervals and were programmed to detach from the fish during a period of 10 days and float to the surface. The tags then relayed their locations, and the recorded data, via satellite, to the Freshwater Fisheries Laboratory at Pitlochry.

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Marine Scotland Blog

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New headquarters for Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries

Kyle FisheriesA landmark building in Ardgay has been acquired by Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries as its new office headquarters.  Located right in the centre of the village, the building formerly housed the Alladale Stores and the European Nature Trust (for those with long memories it was the well-known Fraser’s Shop). It will now provide much improved space and facilities for all Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries staff; this has recently been restricted to Administrator Audrey Campbell’s office in Bonar Bridge – often referred to as the “broom cupboard”.

Dr Keith Williams, Director of Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries, said: “We anticipate that our new office will in due course become a key focal point for all wild fisheries interests in the area – including both salmon fisheries and trout fisheries – which extend from the outer end of the Dornoch Firth in the east to Ben More Assynt in the west”. Continue reading

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Atlantic salmon also show capacity to adapt to warmer waters

Populations of Atlantic salmon have a surprisingly good capacity to adjust to warmer temperatures that are being seen with climate change, a group of scientists at the University of Oslo and University of British Columbia have discovered. The finding about Atlantic species adds to recent UBC-supported research on heat tolerance of Pacific salmon.

The new study, a collaboration between Norwegian and Canadian researchers, was recently published in Nature Communications. Funded by the Norwegian Research Council, it addressed questions around how climate change might affect salmon species distribution and abundance.

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Phys Org

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Salmon escape traced back to farm thanks to DNA sampling

AquacultureResearchers in Norway have successfully identified the farm at the cause of an escape of farmed salmon last autumn, by analyzing DNA samples from the escaped fish.

The researchers, from the Institute of Marine Research, had been asked by the Fisheries Directorate to find out the farm from which salmon had escaped in November 2013 in the commune of Ryfylke.

The escape had not been reported by any of the farms in the commune.

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Undercurrent News

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Prolific poacher is jailed for catching salmon

Leaping Salmon 2A SERIAL poacher who has racked up 33 convictions for stealing fish from Scottish rivers has been jailed.

Edward Ingle was caught using nets to illegally take salmon from the River Tyne, in East Lothian, in April this year.

And despite being ordered by the courts not to go within 25 metres of the river, Ingle was again caught poaching for fish on the same river just three weeks later.

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The Herald
Daily Record

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Blackface sheep winning giant hogweed battle

River Deveron newsA pilot project which saw sheep being tested as a new weapon in the battle against giant hogweed is being rolled out. Richie Miller of the Deveron, Bogie and Isla Rivers Charitable Trust explains on Reporting Scotland here.

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Police and fisheries bodies condemn major fish kill in East Lothian river

Tyne Sea troutA major and indiscriminate fish kill on an East Lothian river last week has prompted condemnation from the police and local and national fisheries organisations. 60 very large sea trout – ranging between 4 lb and 12 lb – were found dead in a poacher’s net on the River Tyne, near East Linton. The net was retrieved by a team of water bailiffs who act for the Forth District Salmon Fishery Board (FDSFB) in partnership with the local Police Wildlife Crime Officer.

Illegal netting of salmon and sea trout is criminal activity and is regarded as a serious wildlife crime. The nets used are largely invisible, and capture fish by the gills; the fish suffer a slow death. Furthermore, these nets, due to the way they are set and concealed, present a serious danger to other aquatic life, such as otters, birds and other wildlife. This incident is a major setback to the excellent conservation work undertaken by local groups and volunteers, such as the East Lothian Angling Association (ELAA). ELAA has spent considerable time and effort improving the river habitat and promoting good angling practice such as catch and release to help conserve stocks. Continue reading

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Salmon conservation agreement extended following first zero net catch in Inner Moray Firth

For the first time in over 60 years no salmon were taken by netsmen in the Inverness Firth during the 2013 season – and a new agreement has been reached to extend a key salmon conservation measure for a further year.

The Ness District Salmon Fishery Board, working in partnership with the Beauly District Fishery Board, has reached agreement with two key net and cobble operators to close their stations for the entire 2014 season through to May 2015.

Chris Conroy, Director of the Ness board, said: “The total number of salmon reported by nets in our area in 2012 was 542. This number was reduced to zero in 2013 as a result of a landmark salmon conservation agreement.

“This is the first time in at least 61 years that no fish were recorded by our net fishery, making this a major milestone in salmon conservation and a real boost for the Ness and Beauly systems.

“Being able to extend this agreement for a further year is excellent news for all with an interest in wild salmon populations and is pivotal to our strategy for reversing the decline of the Ness population.

“It illustrates how netsmen and rod and line interests can work together in the name of salmon conservation. We are also actively investigating joint research opportunities with the netsmen, so that their skills and experience can be used to further our understanding of salmon and sea trout movements with the Firth.”

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Ness DSFB website

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