Wild fish of Wales – Threats and Opportunities

10/04/2017

The recent spate of major pollution incidents in Wales and the resulting poor condition of rivers and streams in the country has led fisheries charity, Salmon & Trout Conservation Cymru to organise a specially convened seminar to discuss the future of wild fish in Wales – ‘Threats and Opportunities’.

The seminar being held on 24th April 2017, at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells is an opportunity for all those involved in managing and maintaining the health of freshwaters including charities, statutory bodies, river keepers and fisherman to come together to debate the future direction and management of our freshwater habitats in Wales, particularly the challenges facing sustainable land management.

Richard Garner Williams, National Officer for S&TC Cymru explains the importance of the seminar at this time and said, “Natural Resources Wales (NRW), recently admitted that its progress on improving water quality and biodiversity has stalled because of budget cuts and staff losses. Our rivers now seem to be in a more perilous state than ever, with only 39 per cent reaching good ecological status.  It is therefore imperative that we open up the debate to identify the threats and identify workable solutions that will help protect and prevent further deterioration of our rivers and streams before it is too late.”

S&TC started working in Wales last year with its Riverfly Census, sampling and analysing invertebrates down to species level on priority rivers such as the Usk, Cleddau and Clwd.  This data, which accurately measures water quality and the local stressors that may be impacting on individual river reaches, helps fishery managers to understand the threats in order to reverse the degradation of Welsh rivers. 

Richard Garner Williams said, “At the seminar, we will be presenting the results of the 2016 Riverfly Census in Wales as well as looking at the present state of freshwater fisheries in Wales. Presentation topics will include the challenges of sustainable land management, concerns over fish stocks and findings from sea trout research projects.”

With 61 percent of water bodies in Wales currently not achieving good ecological status there is much work to be done.  S & TC therefore hopes that the seminar will provide the impetus for better collaboration and understanding in order to push the importance of healthy Welsh rivers and fisheries higher up the political agenda.

The Seminar on Monday 27th April called ‘threats and opportunities’ is an ideal platform to share ideas and information with all those interested in the future health of our Welsh river systems.  The seminar is free to attend and includes a light lunch.  For further information, or to attend the conference, please contact: Richard Garner Williams on Mobile: 078 0905 6152  or email :  wales@salmon-trout.org

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Notes to editors:

Salmon & Trout Conservation UK (S&TC UK) was established as the Salmon & Trout Association (S&TA) in 1903 to address the damage done to our rivers by the polluting effects of the Industrial Revolution.  Throughout its history and to the present day, S&TC UK has worked to protect fisheries, fish stocks and the wider aquatic environment for the public benefit.  S&TC UK has charitable status in England, Wales and Scotland and its charitable objectives empower it to address all issues affecting fish and the aquatic environment, supported by robust evidence from its scientific network, and to take the widest possible remit in protecting salmonid fish stocks and the aquatic environment upon which they depend. www.salmon-trout.org. For further information, please contact: Morag Walker on: mobile: 07736 124097 or email: morag@moragwalkerpr.co.uk