Scottish wild salmon strategy

Sets out the vision, objectives and priority themes to ensure the protection and recovery of Scottish Atlantic wild salmon populations.

1. Introduction

Atlantic salmon[1] are iconic migratory fish that start their lives in streams and rivers, migrate to the high seas to grow and return home to spawn, connecting vast ranges of diverse habitats. The species has been in serious decline in recent decades across its North Atlantic range.

As Scotland is a stronghold for salmon we have an international responsibility to play our full part in a collective response. Salmon populations are affected by a wide range of pressures, some at sea and many others acting within the Scottish freshwater and coastal environments. This strategy sets out the breadth of pressures and management responses in one place for the first time to establish a new path of restoration and recovery for salmon in Scotland.

This strategy is framed around a high-level vision and objectives that will guide collective action. The nature of salmon and the range of pressures they face throughout their remarkable life cycle requires that the action we take must be extensive and delivered at pace. Salmon have been the subject of a long history of legislation and governance, but we must now ensure that the framework for collective action is fit for the challenges we face now and in future, not least in the context of a changing climate.



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