Nature

The Missing Salmon Alliance

Conservationists working together to identify the causes of the widespread and persistent decline of wild Atlantic salmon

Pair of salmon - photo credit - Jack Perks

The Missing Salmon Alliance (MSA) launches its new website, detailing the Likely Suspects Framework as the organisation’s flagship project. The MSA is a collective of passionate conservationists – Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, Angling Trust and Atlantic Salmon Trust – working together to save Wild Atlantic Salmon.

The new website brings together the collective work of the MSA, detailing key research such as the Likely Suspects Framework, salmon stories and initiatives to get involved with. This is the first time a group of conservation focused organisations have come together to drive action and save wild Atlantic salmon from extinction by combining expertise, coordinating activities and advocating effective management solutions.

Stuart Singleton-White, Head of Campaigns at the Angling Trust said,

Since 1970 adult Atlantic salmon returning to our rivers have declined by between 54 and 88%. Across Europe we have seen a decline in migratory fish numbers of over 90%. It is not an exaggeration to say this fish is in crisis.

Atlantic salmon are a key species not only in our rivers and seas, but for the many terrestrial species that rely on salmon and the environment needed for salmon to thrive. Atlantic salmon matter, they matter economically, they matter culturally, and they matter because they are a litmus test on just how serious we are about reversing the global decline in biodiversity. Together, as three organisations we’re fighting for the future of this remarkable fish.”

Dr Colin Bull, Principal Investigator, The Missing Salmon Alliance said, “The goal of the Likely Suspects Frameworkprogramme is to identify the causes of the widespread and persistent declines in survival, and abundance, of wild Atlantic salmon. Our objectives centre on providing non-prescriptive outputs that empower salmon managers with the knowledge and tools to make good decisions and help boost adult Atlantic salmon returns. The LSF is an international collaborative programme building new tools describing salmon mortality processes across the entire lifecycle, looking for ways to assist conservation, and promoting the uptake of a broader ecosystem-based management approach.

He continued, “Much of the time salmon management focus is on actions to improve conditions and survival during the freshwater phases of the life cycle. With marine survival rates continuing to decline we must give attention to understanding the marine mechanisms behind these losses and do whatever we can to address them. Our actions in freshwater can directly influence the survival chances of salmon when they are in the marine phase, and we need to change our management horizons to consider how to better protect, enhance and conserve wild salmon stocks into the future.”

Dylan Roberts, Head of Fisheries for GWCT said, “I have always fully endorsed the need for closer working relationships between the organisations involved in trying to stem the decline in our wild salmon populations, the formation of the MSA is a huge positive step in this direction. Please do follow our progress through the new web site and support us as we fight to protect our wild salmon.”

To find out more on the work of the Missing Salmon Alliance, please visit www.missingsalmonalliance.org.

Salmon - photo credit - Richard Davies

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