Scottish 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
Marine 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.
Marine 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.
Marine Scotland Blog
A 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
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.
Researchers 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.
A 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.
A 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
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.”
Ness DSFB website