News 2015

2015

Scotland’s biggest salmon netting company pleads guilty to wildlife crime – for fishing outwith permitted hours

02 January 2015
Salmon and Trout Association (Scotland) welcomes Usan’s admission of serious breaches of fishery regulations. The Salmon and Trout Association (Scotland) (S&TA(S)) has welcomed the admission on Tuesday at Forfar Sheriff Court by Usan Salmon (Scotland’s largest salmon netting company) that it had committed serious breaches of fishery regulations at its netting stations south of Montrose. The company, whose Directors include David Pullar and George Pullar, entered guilty pleas to several charges of netting outwith permitted hours during 2013. It also pled guilty to additional charges for similar offences in 2014. The relevant salmon legislation requires, in the interests of conservation, […]

ARE FISHERIES AND AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS YOUR PASSION?

05 January 2015
ABOUT TO / JUST GRADUATED? THEN YOU WILL WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THIS GREAT WORK EXPERIENCE OPPORTUNITY! The Anne Voss-Bark Memorial Award: supporting conservationists of the future The Salmon & Trout Association, in collaboration with the Arundell Arms, is pleased to launch, in memory of Anne Voss-Bark, the Anne Voss-Bark Memorial Award. This is a fantastic opportunity to make your CV stand out and give you unbeatable work experience, including accommodation and expenses. In all, the Award offers: One week at the Arundell Arms, one of the country’s leading Country Sports hotel; learning hands-on fisheries management and fly-fishing from the […]

Unacceptable levels of toxic chemicals found in freshwater fish

19 January 2015
Paul Knight wrote to The Times to protest against government inaction at unacceptable levels of toxic chemicals found in freshwater fish: “Recent research by the Food Standards Agency and the Food and Environment Research Agency has shown that many freshwater fish contain excessive levels of toxic chemicals in their body tissue. This is not only a concern for humans who increasingly consume these fish, but it is also a natural indicator that our rivers are not the pristine streams that official spin would have us believe. Indeed, the Environment Agency’s classification shows that only some 23% of English rivers achieve […]

Salmon & Trout Association (Scotland) welcomes dismissal of appeal by The Scottish Salmon Company against time-limited planning permission for salmon farm

23 January 2015
Reporter acknowledges threat to wild fish stocks of sea lice emanating from salmon farming The Salmon &Trout Association (Scotland) (S&TA(S)) has welcomed the decision this week by the Scottish Government’s Reporter to dismiss an appeal by The Scottish Salmon Company against planning permission for one of its salmon farms being limited to ten years. In March 2012 Highland Council granted planning permission to The Scottish Salmon Company for a new salmon farm at Sgeir Dughall in Loch Torridon (Wester Ross), one of the most intensively farmed sea lochs in the north-west. This permission was limited to a period of ten […]

Salmon & Trout Association (Scotland) welcomes dismissal of appeal by The Scottish Salmon Company against time-limited planning permission for salmon farm

23 January 2015
Reporter acknowledges threat to wild fish stocks of sea lice emanating from salmon farming The Salmon &Trout Association (Scotland) (S&TA(S)) has welcomed the decision this week by the Scottish Government’s Reporter to dismiss an appeal by The Scottish Salmon Company against planning permission for one of its salmon farms being limited to ten years. In March 2012 Highland Council granted planning permission to The Scottish Salmon Company for a new salmon farm at Sgeir Dughall in Loch Torridon (Wester Ross), one of the most intensively farmed sea lochs in the north-west. This permission was limited to a period of ten […]

S&TA accuses Natural Resources Wales of destroying salmonid habitats in important Llanrwst stream

12 February 2015
**UPDATE: Response from Natural Resources Wales** Open letter from Paul Knight demands explanations and undertakings Professor Peter Matthews Ph.D., FRSC, FCIWEM, FIWO Chairman Natural Resources Wales Ty Cambria 29 Newport Road Cardiff CF24 0TP February 11th 2015 Dear Peter, I am writing this as an open letter on behalf of our Welsh organisation, S&TA (Cymru), who have expressed deep concern over the recent work carried out in-stream at Llanrwst, Conwy, as part of a flood alleviation scheme. During this work, the streambed was dug up for footings and then covered in pre-cast concrete sections, totally destroying important salmonid spawning habitat, […]

Blueprint warning of potential for higher flood risk and damage to wildlife from new Government proposals

12 March 2015
Wildlife and countryside groups from the Blueprint for Water coalition have responded robustly to the Government’s recently published proposals [to revise the flood consenting system], warning that by watering down the current safeguards and protection there is a real prospect of triggering an environmental double whammy – higher flood risk and damage to wildlife habitat. In a strongly worded letter to the Water Minister Dan Rogerson MP the coalition said: “We are writing to express our serious concern at the government’s proposal to remove key safeguards against flooding, and the knock-on impacts this will have on people and our natural […]

Salmon & Trout Association asks members to defend key nature laws

13 March 2015
The S&TA is one of 100 voluntary organisations across the UK that have joined forces to call for the protection of Europe’s natural environment and the laws which underpin conservation or rivers and lakes across Europe. The European Habitats Directive exists to protect the most important wildlife species and habitats in the UK and Europe, including important UK rivers and lakes and the fish species such as Atlantic salmon that inhabit them. Protected rivers include the iconic chalk streams of the Itchen, Hampshire Avon, Lambourn and Wensum. However, the Directive is currently ’under review’ and at serious risk of being […]

The shocking state of England’s rivers

26 March 2015
As the Environment Agency release figures today that reveal just 17% of England’s rivers are in good health, the Blueprint for Water coalition is urging communities across England to make a stand and speak up for the rivers, lakes, wetlands and beaches that they love. Environment Agency improvements in gathering evidence have led to a truer picture of the health of England’s rivers, which is far worse than previous official figures suggested. Blueprint for Water, a coalition of 16 environmental and fishing organisations, is urging everyone to respond to the Environment Agency’s current consultation on River Basin Management Plans, which […]

Kill Licence Briefing – April 15

21 April 2015
(S&TA(S)) SUPPORTS PROPOSALS IN SCOTLAND TO INTRODUCE A “KILL LICENCE” SYSTEM FOR SALMON FROM THE 2016 SEASON. ACTION NEEDED (S&TA(S)) SUPPORTS PROPOSALS IN SCOTLAND TO INTRODUCE A “KILL LICENCE” SYSTEM FOR SALMON FROM THE 2016 SEASON. In the face of diminishing runs and increased netting, it is time we finally had legislation in Scotland to remove from those who are allowed to take salmon the right to take as many as they want regardless of the vulnerability of the salmon run. PROPOSAL Scottish Government is consulting on proposals to introduce a licensing system for killing salmon by both nets and […]

Release of the official statistics confirms that Scotland’s salmon rod catches in 2014 were the lowest in over 60 years

24 April 2015
S&TA(S) says that the figures underline why action is needed to conserve stocks Today’s publication by Scottish Government of the official 2014 catch statistics for salmon confirms that the rod catch was the lowest since consistent records began in 1952. A total of 45,175 salmon were caught by anglers. The 2014 figure compares to 67,500 in 2013 and a five year average of 85,000. Of the rod catch, 37,139 (or 82 %) were released back into the water by anglers. 8,036 (18 %) were killed. This figure is dwarfed by the 17,778 killed by nets. Hughie Campbell Adamson, Chairman of […]

Head of fishery science ups her game

28 April 2015
The S&TA is delighted to announce that Dr Janina Gray, the Association’s well-regarded Head of Science and Environment Policy has successfully defended her PhD. Janina Gray’s PhD thesis aimed to address the need to incorporate seasonal and inter-annual flow variability in managing rivers for migratory salmonids. With Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in decline throughout most of its range, Dr Gray argued that it is essential that natural flow variability is understood and incorporated in river management proposals. This is especially relevant in light of the many uncertainties facing salmon at the various stages of their life-cycle as well as pressures […]

Salmon netting to continue in west Greenland with Greenland undertaking to limit the catch, allied with a regime of improved monitoring and recording.

10 June 2015
The Salmon & Trout Association has expressed its concern at the limited progress made at last week’s Thirty-Second Annual Meeting of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO) in Goose Bay, Canada, on reducing the catch of salmon, of both North American and European origin, in the mixed stocks fishery off west Greenland. A high priority for the meeting had been to reach an agreement on a firm quota for the fishery for the next three seasons. A firm quota could not be agreed by the negotiating parties – Greenland, United States, Canada and the EU. All bar Greenland had […]

Figures show sea-lice explosion in Loch Fyne and Loch Torridon salmon farms in spring 2015

12 June 2015
Scottish Government called upon to copy Norway and start issuing 'cull orders' to tackle out-of-control sea lice issue on Scottish fish farms. Time for robust action on threat to wild salmon and sea trout conservation The latest Scottish fish-farm industry figures on sea-lice numbers on Scottish salmon farms show that average sea-lice numbers on the ten farms operated by The Scottish Salmon Company in Loch Fyne rose to nearly 23 times the industry thresholds for adult female sea-lice parasites, at the worst possible time for the emigrating wild salmon and sea-trout smolts. This occurred despite the company using 86 (eighty […]

Salmon and Trout Association pressure forces closure of Annan salmon stake net fishery

12 June 2015
The Salmon and Trout Association (S&TA) has welcomed the decision by Dumfries and Galloway Council to close forthwith its major mixed stocks salmon netting station close to Annan in the Solway. This follows legal pressure from S&TA on the Council, including the threat of judicial review, that any decisions to allow stake netting to continue would be in breach of the EU’s Habitats Directive because the Annan stake nets are highly likely to intercept salmon destined for the River Eden in Cumbria. The Eden is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) for salmon and it is failing its conservation targets. […]

Inspiring the next generation of fishery scientists

22 July 2015
Vicky Deward-Fowler, a first class honours degree student from Exeter University is the first person to be presented with the Anne Voss Bark Memorial Award, which has been established in memory of this remarkable river conservationist, fly fishing expert and for many years proprietor of the famous Arundell Arms Hotel in Lifton, Devon. This outstanding award has been set up by the Salmon & Trout Association in collaboration with the Arundell Arms, now run by Anne's son, Adam Fox-Edwards. It was launched this year in memory of Anne Voss Bark, and offers a young fisheries/aquatic student an unbeatable experience working […]

Salmon and Trout Association (Scotland) welcomes Scottish Government’s momentous salmon conservation proposals

24 July 2015
Coastal salmon netting to be banned The Salmon and Trout Association (Scotland) (S&TA(S)) has warmly welcomed the trailblazing salmon conservation proposals announced by Scottish Government today. Under the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003 Scottish Government is proposing to introduce a licensing system for the killing of wild salmon in Scotland and to prohibit "the taking of salmon outwith inland waters". In essence this will mean an end to coastal salmon netting in Scotland. Full details of the Scottish Government proposals are available at http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Salmon-Trout-Coarse/fishreform/licence S&TA and S&TA(S) have been at the forefront of lobbying to end coastal […]

Salmon & Trout Association 2015 National Riverfly Census

31 July 2015
Tiny shrimp points to ecological malaise in England’s iconic rivers The Salmon & Trout Association (S&TA) has launched its 2015 National Riverfly Census, a major independent scientific study on twelve of our iconic English rivers. Its prime aim is to discover the current status of important aquatic invertebrates that are key indicators of a river’s health. The S&TA fears that the Environment Agency (EA)’s limited resources are not allowing sufficient monitoring to take place and, therefore, the true state of our rivers is not being accurately recorded. As a result, many rivers are not being properly protected. Samples have been […]

Scotland’s biggest wild salmon netting company sentenced for wildlife crime – fishing illegally

20 August 2015
S&TA(S) hopes the level of fine will act as a deterrent against future breaches of the law The Salmon & Trout Association (Scotland) (S&TA(S)) has welcomed the sentencing today (August 20) at Forfar Sheriff Court of Usan Salmon (Scotland’s largest salmon netting company) following serious breaches of fishery regulations at its netting stations south of Montrose and on the north Aberdeenshire coast. The company, whose Directors include George Pullar and his brother David, had earlier entered guilty pleas to several charges of netting outwith permitted hours during 2013 and 2014. The relevant salmon legislation requires, in the interests of conservation, […]

Then: The Salmon & Trout Association (S&TA)Now: SALMON & TROUT CONSERVATION UK (S&TC UK)

25 August 2015
From 1st September our name will be Salmon & Trout Conservation UK (S&TC UK), with a new strapline, “Protecting wild fish and their habitats since 1903”. Paul Knight, S&TC UK’s CEO explains, "We have kept ‘Salmon & Trout’ in the new title, retaining our contact with the past. However, our focus on salmon and trout isn’t only because they are the favoured target species of our main supporters, but because they are also the ultimate natural indicator to the health of our rivers and lakes. If salmon and trout are thriving, then there isn’t much wrong with the environment. If […]

WATER MATTERS: Blueprint for Water launches clarion call for action

16 September 2015
The Blueprint for Water Coalition, until recently chaired by S&TC UK's Dr Janina Gray, launched their latest publication, Water Matters, in the House of Commons today. Link also launched its Agricultural publication, Farming Fit for the Future. Water Matters S&TC UK's Head of Science, Dr Janina Gray, lead on the development and editing of Water Matters, ensuring a strong fisheries input throughout the process. The document calls for 5 key objectives to be actioned by 2021, these are to: Use water wisely Stop pollution in our waters Manage floods for people and wildlife Create, protect and restore places for wildlife […]

Salmon & Trout Conservation (Scotland) welcomes Scottish Government’s revisions to salmon kill licence proposals

28 September 2015
Salmon & Trout Conservation (Scotland) (S&TC(S)) has welcomed today's announcement by the Scottish Government that it intends to dilute its earlier proposals to restrict the killing of salmon within rivers. Restrictions on the killing of wild salmon are now likely to be in line with "a targeted system based on fish stocks." Scottish Government proposes to exclude those rivers, where salmon stocks are clearly deemed to be robust and sufficiently numerous, from a new conservation regime. The latter will be restricted to those rivers where salmon stocks give cause for concern. Hughie Campbell Adamson, Chairman of S&TC(S), commented: "We welcome […]

John Gawesworth : 1 November 1928 – 24 September 2015

01 October 2015
John Gawesworth, of Dolton, Devon, died suddenly at his home on Thursday 24th September 2015, at the age of 86. He was born "Buck Jenner-Parson", in Codicote, near Welwyn Garden City on November 1st 1928, and discovered fly fishing in North Wales on the river Conway, when being relocated there as a young man during World War 2. When Buck started a fly fishing school in Kent in 1972, he decided to teach and write under the pseudonym "John Gawesworth" – a name chosen to commemorate the passing of longtime friend and poet "John Gawsworth". In 1977 John moved his […]

Wild salmon populations have fallen below safe conservation limits in all rivers in the Scottish west Highland salmon-farming zone

05 October 2015
S&TCS calls for immediate moratorium on salmon farming expansion Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland (S&TCS) has today called upon the Scottish Government to place an immediate moratorium on further expansion of salmon farming in light of Marine Scotland's new analysis showing the very poor conservation status of west Highland salmon rivers. Scottish Government's newly published classification of the country's salmon rivers puts all the rivers in the west Highlands and inner Hebrides, including iconic systems such as the Awe and the Lochy, in the worst-performing category, with wild salmon stocks not reaching what are known as 'conservation limits' – a […]

Winner of S&TC UK ‘Invisible World’ competition announced

08 October 2015
Young Scottish film-maker Andrew O'Donnell awarded £2,000 prize Salmon & Trout Conservation UK is delighted to announce the winner of its £2,000 "Invisible World" video competition, where entrants were invited to explore the beauties as well as the threats that face our underwater environment – the invisible world that no-one sees, but which surrounds us all and is so vital to our well-being. The distinguished panel of judges – award-winning wildlife film-makers Hugh Miles, Paul Reddish and Charlie Hamilton James, who were joined by television personality Matthew Wright and S&TC CEO Paul Knight – were hugely impressed by the standard […]

S&TC UK welcomes the European Commission’s action to make the UK Government correctly enact WFD into law

28 October 2015
Commission asks the United Kingdom to revisit key elements of water legislation Salmon & Trout Conservation UK, the charity that campaigns for fish and our aquatic environment, is delighted that the European Commission is asking the United Kingdom to ensure that the Water Framework Directive (WFD – Directive 2000/60/EC) is correctly enacted in national law. While some enacting legislation has been adopted, the existing framework is only partial, and the interplay with obligations in other legislation impacting on water management is a cause for concern, with potentially negative effects for the UK's citizens. The Commission is asking for more precision […]

S&TCS asks top chefs to examine the environmental record of salmon farmed by Loch Duart Ltd and reconsider their endorsements

07 December 2015
S&TCS has written to some of the UK’s most high profile chefs Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland (S&TCS) has written to some of the UK's most high profile chefs – including Raymond Blanc, Rick Stein and Gordon Ramsay – asking them to examine the environmental record of Loch Duart Ltd in the context of their use of farmed salmon produced by the company and/or their endorsement of Loch Duart's products. The company's website http://lochduart.com/taste-the-difference/ includes the following endorsements: Raymond Blanc – "I have used Loch Duart salmon for many years, because I believe they are the gold standard in fish […]

Report highlights massive threat to wild salmon and sea trout from Scottish salmon farms failing to control sea lice over the last two years. Industry-wide problem with sea lice not under control

14 December 2015
Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland calls for urgent action from Scottish Government Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland (S&TCS) today (14 December 2015) published a detailed report into the control of sea lice on fish farms in Scotland over the last two years, which brings into sharp focus the seriousness of the problem with sea lice and the need for urgent action from the Scottish Government to protect wild salmon and sea-trout populations that are already in trouble. Fisheries scientists are increasingly firm in their conclusions that sea lice produced on fish-farms harm wild salmonids, both at an individual and at […]