Salmon

We are the UK voice campaigning for wild salmon and their habitats

There are few species as iconic as Atlantic salmon

 

Salmon are unique, inspiring the world with their fascinating habits and lifecycle

They are the aquatic equivalent of polar bears or Siberian tigers

Salmon indicate that rivers and oceans are clean, healthy and supportive of life

They are one of the most important indicator species in our global waters

Salmon live their juvenile lives in the cold headwaters of our river systems before migrating to the ocean

Salmon travel as far away as the west coast of Greenland to grow into silver, torpedo-shaped adults

Salmon return to jump the waterfalls of their home rivers back to their birthplace, to spawn the next generation

salmon

Why do Salmon need our help?

Atlantic salmon are in steady and serious decline across their North Atlantic range

 

Salmon are dying in greater numbers than ever before - at every life stage

We are on the brink of losing one of the world's most beloved and globally iconic wild fish from our waters. We cannot allow this to happen.

The decline of salmon tells us that our waters are in trouble

Beyond simply losing this beautiful species at an alarming rate, the decline of salmon means that all is not well with our planet's waters, because these wonderful fish are an important indicator species.

We need to understand this decline and take action for the sake of salmon and all water life.

What are the causes of salmon decline?

Atlantic salmon face a complex range of challenges throughout their lifecycle, making survival tough

 

Many rivers are no longer clean and healthy but suffer degraded water quality and loss of habitat and food chains. Modern intensive agriculture, water abstraction and poorly treated sewage are largely to blame.

In many rivers, salmon can no longer reach the best spawning areas because of man-made barriers, such as hydro-electric dams or impassable weirs.

Barriers that are passible for young salmon swimming down rivers to the sea can still hinder their journey, slowing them down and making them easy targets for bird, mammal and fish predators.

Chemicals that have built up in their bodies during their freshwater life can kill them with the extra pressure of entering sea water for the first time, and marine predators are always on the lookout for weak individuals.

Many young salmon are forced to run the gauntlet of open-net salmon farms, where sea lice incubated in vast, unnatural numbers on farmed fish latch on to and kill wild salmon before they even have a chance of reaching the open ocean.

The ocean has changed recently and, although we can do little about that, global warming has altered currents and the way other marine species behave which directly affects the ability of salmon to survive in this hostile environment.

Salmon are still caught and killed by commercial fishermen while in the ocean, especially off the West Coast of Greenland and when they return to their home waters, such as in Norway and England.

When returning to spawn they have to negotiate their rivers again, with their poor water quality, degraded habitat and man-made barriers and predators, including humans, trying to kill them!

Salmon & Trout Conservation cannot address all these problems, but we do concentrate on the critical issues of open-net salmon farming and water & habitat quality.

Your support helps us turn research into action, campaigning for salmon's survival based on the core principles that:

We rely on your support to protect wild fish

and the places they live

By donating or joining as a member you will be making a huge contribution to the fight to protect the UK's waters and ensure a sustainable future for wild fish.

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