News 2017

2017

Invasive demon shrimp poses another major threat to river life

05 January 2017
Scientists working with the charity Salmon & Trout Conservation UK (S&TC UK), who have been investigating the health of our rivers across the country, have discovered the non-native demon shrimp Dikerogammarus haemobaphes lurking in the depths of our rivers and this could be disastrous for the future of our native aquatic wildlife.

Charity warns that tidal lagoon In Swansea Bay could prove disastrous for iconic Welsh fish

13 January 2017
Leading fisheries charity, Salmon & Trout Conservation Cymru (S&TCC) have major environmental concerns about a report by former energy minister, Charles Hendry, which supports a tidal barrage in Swansea Bay.

Honour for James Carr

01 February 2017
James Carr, former Chairman of S&TA, has been awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to conservation, education and the community. James, who was our Chairman between 2006 and 2012, oversaw S&TA’s move to charitable status in 2008.

S&TC(S) responds to BBC for biased report on salmon farms.

17 February 2017
S&TC(S) objects to Reporting Scotland’s feature on salmon farming aired on 14 February. S&TC(S) Director Andrew Graham-Stewart has now written this letter to the BBC

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

17 February 2017
Finding a solution to pollution _ our published letter in the Sunday Times

New initiative helps to secure a brighter future for the iconic Test and Itchen

28 February 2017
The condition of Hampshire’s renowned chalkstreams will be put under the microscope this year following an agreement between fisheries research charity, Salmon and Trout Conservation UK and the Test and Itchen Association.

Water insect research in Hampshire could spark a revival for ailing rivers

02 March 2017
In a unique agreement of its kind, the Environment Agency (EA) in Hampshire and Salmon & Trout Conservation UK (S&TC UK) have for the first time agreed key environmental local bespoke targets for the Rivers Test and Itchen to help drive ecological improvements. S&TC UK believe this is a precedent for other rivers to follow.

West Country Award launches next generation of river conservationists

10 March 2017
A remarkable West-country Award set up in memory of well-known hotelier Anne Voss-Bark is helping to determine the future direction of young graduates studying aquatic sciences.

Collapse of Loch Maree sea trout

20 March 2017
How culpable is salmon farming? Read Andrew Walker’s report

S&TC Scotland launches campaign to restore iconic sea trout fishery to its former glory

21 March 2017
New film explains the catastrophic collapse of sea trout stocks in Loch Maree, once one of the world’s truly great wild fisheries, following the arrival of salmon farming in the adjacent sea loch

How can we deal with silent but potentially deadly river invaders?

27 March 2017
Our rivers and chalkstreams are under threat like never before and we are in grave danger of failing to react to the increasing damage caused by the number of non-native invasive species that are causing havoc on many of our already vulnerable waterways Under the surface of our rivers lives an alien world, where new, foreign animals are rapidly establishing homes. Many of these species, including American Signal Crayfish, Himalayan Balsam and Demon shrimp look harmless and in some cases even attractive. However, these invaders change river processes and exploit food resources often to the detriment of our own, native […]

Where is the salmon you’re eating being farmed?

29 March 2017
It is clear that in the UK salmon is a very popular dish. The growing demand for Atlantic salmon on our dinner tables has supported the boom of fish farms around the west coast of Scotland. Unfortunately, the growth of this industry has been at the peril of wild fish. Did you know that high levels of sea lice parasites spilling from fish farms are threatening Scottish wild salmon and sea trout populations? Treatments to control the spread are in place but parasites are gaining resistance and numbers are frequently over the recommended ‘Code of Good Practice’ threshold. It’s time […]

Freshwater environments threatened by farmyard slurry

07 April 2017
Fisheries charity Salmon & Trout Conservation Cymru have reacted with dismay at yet another major river pollution incident in Wales, which saw up to 450,000 litres (99,000 gallons) of slurry leaked into a tributary of the River Honddu near Abergavenny. It is feared that this could also impact on the Wye and Monnow and their populations of species of European conservation status such as bullheads and brook lampreys. Sadly, this is not the first incident of its type. In February, a slurry spill into the Gwili in Carmarthenshire killed trout, lamprey and bullheads and in In December, 2016, a spill […]

Wild fish of Wales – Threats and Opportunities

10 April 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 […]

New report from salmon farming’s biggest company confirms that Scotland is the ‘dirty man’ of global aquaculture

12 April 2017
Marine Harvest’s performance on sea lice control in Scotland is drastically worse than any of its other worldwide operations

2016 catch statistics underline pinch points in wild salmon and sea trout numbers

24 April 2017
S&TCS calls for Scottish Government action on negative factors for which it has responsibility and direct influence

S&TC Cymru urge Government to understand, value and act for rivers in Wales

03 May 2017
The fundamental message from our seminar in Builth Wells was that agricultural pollution of Welsh rivers and streams has reached endemic proportions and that time is running out to protect the wild fish and other aquatic wildlife that depend on clean fresh waters to survive. Speaking to the mixed audience of more than 50 academics, anglers, fisheries scientists and conservation organisations, Richard Garner Williams, National Officer for S&TC Cymru said: “Threats to the very survival of the wild fish of Wales, including salmon, sea trout and brown trout, can no longer be ignored. The pollution of Welsh rivers by intensive […]

Consumers asked to challenge supermarkets on the source of Scottish farmed salmon

09 May 2017
Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland is inviting consumers to help identify those supermarkets that are stocking salmon from farms which are failing to control deadly sea lice parasites. The inexorable growth of the salmon farming industry in recent years has occurred at considerable environmental cost, particularly the impact of high numbers of sea lice parasites spreading from fish farms to threaten highly vulnerable juvenile Scottish wild salmon and sea trout populations. In many areas, despite the intensive use of aggressive chemicals and other methods to control sea lice on salmon farms, numbers of the parasites are frequently over the industry’s […]

Turning words into action for the Itchen

11 May 2017
We have recently joined forces with academics, anglers, fisheries scientists, conservation organisations and the Environment Agency to discuss the crucial next stages of protecting the famous Upper Itchen chalkstream in Hampshire. The battle to restore this world-renowned river to its former glory started last year when we met with other leading figures in the water and conservation sectors and agreed a 10-point action plan to ensure the future restoration and protection of this SAC chalkstream. Encouragingly, many of the actions that were agreed last year have come to fruition. One of the key areas was to decide exactly what makes a […]

James Ronald Carr, OBE (1946-2017)

24 May 2017
It is with great sadness that we have to report that James Carr, former Chairman of S&TA, passed away earlier this month after a long, sustained struggle against an aggressive illness. Over the past two years, James astounded us all with the amazingly positive attitude with which he faced the ‘challenge’, as he put it to us recently, and it is very cruel that he finally had to succumb to it. Our thoughts are with his wife, Jocelyn, and daughters Octavia and Leonora. James was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to conservation, education and […]

Deadline extended for West Country Award that launches next generation of river conservationists

31 May 2017
The closing date to apply for the Anne Voss-Bark Memorial Award, which aims to help young graduates studying aquatic sciences has been extended to June 14th June 2017 Now in its third year, the Anne Voss-Bark Memorial Award 2017, set up by Salmon & Trout Conservation UK (S&TC UK) in collaboration with the Arundel Arms and Fario Club is open to young fisheries or aquatic students and offers an unbeatable opportunity to study the practical elements of river restoration and management. Vicky Fowler, who studied biological science at Exeter University, is a previous winner of the Award and found the […]

National survey identifies lethal problems below the surface of our rivers

22 June 2017
Salmon & Trout Conservation (S&TC), a charity working to protect wild fish and their waters, has just completed the second year of its unique three-year national Riverfly Census.

S&TC Scotland’s Campaign and Petition leads to Parliamentary Inquiry into Scottish salmon farming 

23 June 2017
A formal Petition, lodged in the Scottish Parliament in February 2016 by Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland, seeking protection for wild salmonids from sea lice from Scottish salmon farms, has resulted in MSPs launching an Inquiry into the salmon farming industry in Scotland. The Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee of MSPs agreed at Holyrood this week to conduct a full-blown Inquiry into salmon farming in Scotland and the issues raised in our Petition. Guy Linley-Adams, for S&TC Scotland, said: “We are delighted that MSPs of all parties have shown such concern and interest and we thank them for launching this […]

Charity urges citizens to challenge the health of their local West Country rivers

28 June 2017
Fisheries charity, Salmon & Trout Conservation (S&TC ) has just completed the second year of its unique three year national Riverfly Census.

New report estimates that Scottish salmon farming mortalities are now running at 20 million fish a year despite 2/3rds of the industry being certified as RSPCA Assured

04 July 2017
Percentage by weight of mortality has almost doubled in last four years as industry fails to cope with parasites and disease

S&TC partners in EU project to provide vital research on salmon and sea trout populations in the English Channel

05 July 2017
An environmental project that will provide vital research on rapidly declining salmon and sea trout (Salmonid) populations, is set to receive a multimillion pound investment from the EU’s Interreg France (Channel) England programme. The project is called SAMARCH (SAlmonid MAnagement Round the CHannel), which is being led by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT). SAMARCH is a cross-border project, with 10 partner organisations 5 in France and 5 in the UK. This project will use state of the art fish monitoring facilities on 5 rivers across the south of England and northern France, including the Freshwater Biological Association’s River […]

ORRI VIGF™SSON: 10 July 1942 – 1 July 2017

05 July 2017
All at Salmon & Trout Conservation are very saddened to hear that Orri Vigfùsson has passed away. He did so much to save Atlantic salmon from the high seas netting that was such a great threat to the species, but at the same time he was determined that commercial netsmen should be properly compensated for giving up their licenses to fish for salmon. His stated objective was to "restore the abundance of wild salmon that formerly existed on both sides of the North Atlantic". That was an attitude that endeared him to both sides of the issue, and was the […]

Vitacress and Salmon & Trout Conservation Join Forces on Water Quality

18 July 2017
Salmon & Trout Conservation (S&TC) and Vitacress have joined forces to help reduce phosphate outputs from the watercress industry. In-river phosphate and invertebrate sampling commissioned by us on the River Itchen, a Special Area of Conservation, has indicated the river is suffering for excess phosphates and fine sediment, from a variety of sources, which has resulted in the river being a shadow of its former self, despite its protected status. Seizing on the opportunity presented by Vitacress’ plan to bring its Pinglestone Farm on the Itchen back to full commercial production in 2018, S&TC, together with the University of Portsmouth, […]

Vitacress and Salmon & Trout Conservation Join Forces on Water Quality

18 July 2017
Salmon & Trout Conservation (S&TC) and Vitacress have joined forces to help reduce phosphate outputs from the watercress industry. In-river phosphate and invertebrate sampling commissioned by S&TC on the River Itchen, a Special Area of Conservation, has indicated the river is suffering for excess phosphates and fine sediment, from a variety of sources, which has resulted in the river being a shadow of its former self, despite its protected status. Seizing on the opportunity presented by Vitacress’ plan to bring its Pinglestone Farm on the Itchen back to full commercial production in 2018, S&TC, together with Portsmouth University, will continuously […]

Derbyshire Rivers put under the microscope in flylife study

31 July 2017
Fisheries charity, Salmon & Trout Conservation (S&TC) is just reporting the results on the second year of its unique three-year national Riverfly Census. The census aims to assess the health of our English and Welsh rivers through monitoring the invertebrate communities that live below the surface.

Derbyshire Rivers put under the microscope in flylife study

31 July 2017
Fisheries charity, Salmon & Trout Conservation (S&TC) is just reporting the results on the second year of its unique three-year national Riverfly Census. The census aims to assess the health of our English and Welsh rivers through monitoring the invertebrate communities that live below the surface. This important research has revealed that nationally no significant improvement in the condition of our rivers and chalkstreams has occurred on the initial 12 rivers included in the study over the past two years. Dr Janina Gray, S&TC's Head of Science says, "The message from our Census is that 2016 was yet another worrying […]

New research project aims to help tackle pollution in Welsh rivers

01 August 2017
The worrying increase in the pollution of rivers in Wales has led to the launch of a three-year scientific monitoring programme by Salmon & Trout Conservation Cymru (S&TC Cymru), which aims to assess the health of our valuable freshwater environments. The study in Wales follows on from the existing Riverfly Census on 12 rivers in England over the past two years, which has already identified that many of the country’s rivers and chalkstreams are suffering. Richard Garner Williams, S&TC’s National Officer for Wales, explains the science: “Last autumn saw the start of our innovative Riverfly Census monitoring programme in Wales. […]

New research project aims to help tackle pollution in Welsh rivers

01 August 2017
Press Release Issued by Salmon & Trout Conservation Cymru The worrying increase in the pollution of rivers in Wales has led to the launch of a three-year scientific monitoring programme by Salmon & Trout Conservation Cymru (S&TC Cymru), which aims to assess the health of our valuable freshwater environments. The study in Wales follows on from the existing Riverfly Census on 12 rivers in England over the past two years, which has already identified that many of the country's precious rivers and chalkstreams are in a perilous condition. Richard Garner Williams, S&TC's National Officer for Wales, explains the science, "Last […]

Aliens in the app! Our invasive species series

03 August 2017
For all you app owners here’s a preview of the new update, available now!

Aliens in the app – Our invasive species series

03 August 2017
We are releasing an 'invasive species' series, so you can help to identify species in your river that shouldn't be there! The update contains detailed images on two non-native shrimp – the demon shrimp and the killer shrimp. These shrimps are very bad news for our native shrimp (Gammarus pulex). Let us know any sightings of these aliens and report them to your local Environment Agency as a matter of urgency. For all water users, by simply following the Check Clean Dry process, you can do your bit to stop the spread of invasive species. Download the app from: www.riverinvertebratelarvae.co.uk.

Unprecedented collapse of salmon run in South-West Highlands underlines failure of Scottish Government to protect wild fish from the catastrophically negative impact of salmon farming

08 August 2017
Systematic Government failure to heed warnings regarding the consequences of intensive salmon farming

Mounting evidence of need to modernise salmon farming – collapse of salmon run in South-West Highlands

08 August 2017
This year’s run of salmon in the most closely monitored river in Argyll is on course to be the lowest on record. The salmon count on the River Awe has hit an all-time low after 30 weeks of the season. Last year’s total of 807 fish was only slightly above the all-time lowest count. This year it is running at only one third of the 2016 count. If this continues the final total will struggle to reach 400. This would be by far the lowest count of returning salmon to the biggest river in the South-West Highlands since records began […]

Unprecedented collapse of salmon run in South-West Highlands underlines failure of Scottish Government to protect wild fish from the catastrophically negative impact of salmon farming

08 August 2017
This year’s run of salmon in the most closely monitored river in Argyll is on course to be the lowest on record. The salmon count on the River Awe has hit an all-time low after 30 weeks of the season. Last year’s total of 807 fish was only slightly above the all-time lowest count. This year it is running at only one third of the 2016 count. If this continues the final total will struggle to reach 400. This would be by far the lowest count of returning salmon to the biggest river in the South-West Highlands since records began […]

S&TC Scotland calls out the SSPO for use of alternative facts

15 August 2017
  River Awe grilse The claim by the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (“S&TCS ‘premature and over simplistic’ in claims about River Awe”, 9 August) that “the majority of grilse don’t return to the Awe until the autumn” shows how completely ignorant it is regarding the habits of wild Scottish salmon. There has never been a significant run of fish (either grilse or salmon) in the autumn on the Awe since records began with the installation of the fish counter in 1965. River Awe weekly count Andrew Graham-Stewart, Director of S&TCS, said: “Such blatant use of ‘alternative facts’ is evidence of […]

Norfolk chalkstream still under threat from pollution

16 August 2017
We have just completed the second year of our unique three-year national Riverfly Census. The census aims to assess the health of our English and Welsh rivers through monitoring water insects that live below the surface. This important research has revealed that nationally no significant improvement in the condition of our rivers and chalkstreams has occurred on the 12 core study rivers included over the past two years. The results from the River Wensum indicate that pollution is a significant concern for this chalk stream. The threat to our rivers has moved from industrial pollution to a range of more […]

Norfolk chalkstream still under threat from pollution

16 August 2017
S&TC has just completed the second year of its unique three-year national Riverfly Census. The census aims to assess the health of our English and Welsh rivers through monitoring the invertebrate communities that live below the surface. This important research has revealed that nationally no significant improvement in the condition of our rivers and chalkstreams has occurred on the 12 rivers included in the study over the past two years. The results from the River Wensum indicate that pollution is a significant concern for this precious chalkstream. According to S&TC the threat to our rivers has moved from industrial pollution […]

S&TC auction offers lots from fishing to feasting that money can’t buy

31 August 2017
Keen cricketing fans will be rushing to bid in Salmon & Trout Conservation’s annual auction for a rare chance to fish and then enjoy lunch on the glorious River Itchen in the esteemed company of the one and only voice of cricket; Henry Calthorpe Blofeld or ‘Blowers’ as he is often affectionately called. This unique opportunity to eat, meet and fish with a celebrity hero or two like Henry Blofeld is up for grabs in our renowned charity auction. The S&TC annual on-line, silent and ‘live’ auctions are gearing up to offer some truly remarkable and rare opportunities to bid […]

Scottish Ministers ordered to disclose names of Scotland’s ‘liciest’ salmon farms to Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland

18 September 2017
The Scottish Information Commissioner has this week published a formal Decision that Scottish Ministers unlawfully tried to withhold information naming fish farms that had breached Scottish Government trigger levels for the numbers of adult female sea lice on farmed salmon. http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/uploadedFiles/Decision142-2017.pdf Late last year and this year, Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland (S&TC Scotland) made a number of requests for information for details of those farms that had notified Marine Scotland that the new Scottish trigger levels, announced to the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization in 2016, had been exceeded, but Scottish Ministers had declined to provide the information, on […]

A big, bright new vision for our watery places and the life within them

29 September 2017
Salmon & Trout Conservation (S&TC), the national voice for the UK’s wild fish and where they live, has been protecting our watery places for over 100 years. Over this time the issues faced by these environments may have changed, but standing up to keep our waters wild has never been more important. A healthy water environment is essential for all species to thrive – from the tiniest bug that forms a vital link in the food chain to headline species such as wild salmon and trout, kingfishers and water voles. To help make their campaigns, achievements and key findings more […]

Success from the S&TC auction – funding a better future for wild fish and where they live

24 October 2017
We are delighted to report that our recent online, live and silent auctions, which culminated in a spectacular dinner at Fishmongers Hall in London, raised an unprecedented £120,000! The three separate auctions offered many truly remarkable and rare opportunities to bid for exclusive fishing opportunities, stunning works of art, fishing and feasting packages as well as special shoot days.  Many renowned fishermen and celebrities such as Henry Blofeld also offered wonderful hosting opportunities for keen bidders. Veronica Kruger, S&TC’s dinner and auction co-ordinator explains: “I am absolutely thrilled with this total, and immensely grateful to all who participated, not least […]

BBC’s ‘Fish Farms of the Future’ – Our Comments on Closed Containment

27 October 2017
  The recent BBC Costing the Earth programme – Fish Farms of the Future – centred around the issue of farming salmon in tanks on land, many miles away from the sea, and how this could be the answer to the environmental impacts of traditional open net farming prevalent off the West Coast and Islands of Scotland. The programme is 30 minutes long but well worth a listen! Listen Here S&TC has been calling for closed containment farming for years. Whether in land based units or in tanks in the sea, as shown in the header photo, these units create […]

Scottish salmon farming’s ‘liciest’ farms named and shamed

30 October 2017
Data reveals astonishingly high sea lice levels, Scottish Government regulation of salmon farms shown to be wholly inadequate. Today, Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland names and shames the liciest fish-farms in Scotland. Following the formal decision by the Scottish Information Commissioner (http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/uploadedFiles/Decision142-2017.pdf ) that Scottish Ministers unlawfully tried to withhold information naming fish farms that had breached Scottish Government trigger levels for the numbers of adult female sea lice on farmed salmon, S&TC Scotland has now received the information in question. It shows that sea lice numbers are running out of control in much of the industry for extended periods and […]

The power of bugs – Designing measures to properly capture the health of our rivers

10 November 2017
Wednesday 8th November was a very exciting day, as entomology experts from around the UK came to our workshop to discuss the potential for biometric measures (environmental ‘scores’ calculated from water insect samples) to extend evaluation of our watery places beyond the broader, less specific brush of the Water Framework Directive. Following on from our fantastic breakthrough on the Itchen (read more here), as part of our Riverfly Census campaign we are working to achieve localised, bespoke targets for more rivers across the UK. The census, now in its final year, has already shown the tremendous value of analysing water […]

Scotland’s worst sea lice offenders: Full Farm List

20 November 2017
In our previous article we shared how our campaigning had lead to full disclosure of which Scottish salmon farms were not keeping their lice under control (read here). We highlighted the worst offenders, but today we bring you the full list of farms breaching the sea lice trigger levels set by the Scottish Government.* Open Full List To date, no meaningful enforcement action, such as the ordering of culls or immediate reductions in fish-farm biomass, has been taken against serial offenders. Scottish Government’s new trigger levels of 3 adult female lice per farmed salmon (at which point a “site-specific escalation […]

FOI Number Five – getting you the information they don’t want you to see!

06 December 2017
As the Scottish Government continues to try to downplay the harm being caused by open-cage salmon farming, S&TC Scotland has just secured its fifth favourable decision in a row this year from the Scottish Information Commissioner. Putting information about salmon farming and its impacts – information that the Scottish Government and its agencies would rather you didn’t see – into the public domain. In November 2017, we secured a Decision from the Commissioner, who found that SEPA was not entitled to withhold a report that had been provided to SEPA, regarding a future study into the use of emamectin benzoate […]

Argyll salmon run crisis in the River Awe

11 December 2017
Systematic Government failure to heed warnings regarding the consequences of intensive salmon farming