Over £ 500,000 to study the pressures of pollution and climate change. A project to assess the impact of environmental and climate change on Scotland’s iconic wild salmon population has started.
The number of wild Atlantic salmon returning to Scotland has declined by around 40% over the past four decades, impacting the conservation status of many of the country’s rivers.
The £ 550,000 fund, including £ 150,000 provided by Crown Estate Scotland, supports the sampling of juvenile and adult salmon by local fishing commissions and councils to collect scales and other biological information on fish caught in the rivers of the country.
The innovative program, launched during Climate Week, will use the data to help target interventions to conserve globally recognized species and increase the number and size of wild salmon leaving rivers.
Speaking during an on-site visit to Glen Clova, Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:
“We take the problem of our declining salmon stocks very seriously, the reasons are vast and complex.
“Investing in surveillance will help us better understand these pressures.
“We know that high river temperatures during the summer put pressure on wild salmon and we are identifying priority stretches of streams to target tree planting, providing live umbrellas to provide shade. and encourage the good survival and growth of salmon.
“We are working with landowners and land managers to encourage them to take actions such as planting trees to support salmon conservation.
“However, it is believed that salmon mortality at sea has increased in part due to the effect of climate change on ecosystems and changes in where food is abundant.
“This is why it is vital, especially in the run-up to COP26, to continue to meet the double challenge of climate change and the loss of biodiversity. “
Fiona Simpson Asset Manager for Crown Estate Scotland said: “We are fully committed to supporting Scotland’s wild fishing industry which currently faces many challenges and forms an important part of Scotland’s environment and rural economy.
“This funding allows for valuable research that will hopefully provide evidence to better understand some of the reasons for the decline in Atlantic salmon numbers in Scottish rivers and inform targeted action plans to address them. current problems “.
As part of the visit, Ms. Gougeon planted the first tree in an area intended for reforestation