Fish farms invest more to reverse wild salmon decline

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Scotland’s salmon farmers are investing a further £120,000 this year to help support ‘a sustainable future for wild salmon and sea trout in Scottish rivers’.

Aimed at tackling the decades long decline of wild salmon and sea trout, the fund will invest in fisheries organisations that work to enhance and protect wild fisheries and habitats.

Created by Salmon Scotland in partnership with Fisheries Management Scotland, and administered by Foundation Scotland, both the wild fisheries and farm-raised salmon industries have been delivering this work as part of each sector’s interests to support and conserve habitats.

The five-year fund is financed directly by Scotland’s salmon farm companies, and last year more than £70,000 was awarded to five river and fisheries trusts after its launch in April.

Beneficiary organisations included Argyll Fisheries Trust, which was awarded £18,600 to invest in habitat restoration in the Dalvuie Burn near Oban.

Alan Kettle-White, senior fisheries biologist at Argyll Fisheries Trust, said the funding support had enabled the organisation to improve the habitat for sea trout spawning in a coastal stream.

The Lochaber Fisheries Trust also received almost £20,000 to implement juvenile surveys to assess fish densities and genetic diversity in eight local rivers.

Organisations are encouraged to request grants in the range of £10,000 and £35,000 before the application period closes on Monday March 21, with a decision to come in the week commencing May 23.

Individual projects should be completed with 18 months of the project being awarded funds.