Wild salmon strategy implementation plan progress report: 2023-2024

A progress report setting out the progress towards delivering the actions in the wild salmon strategy implementation plan in 2023/24 to protect and restore wild salmon populations.


In recognition of the declining populations of wild Atlantic salmon in Scotland, and beyond, Scotland’s Wild Salmon Strategy and accompanying Implementation Plan were developed to set out a framework and detailed list of actions to be taken to protect and restore populations.

The Implementation Plan (the plan) highlights that collective action is required across government, business and charitable sectors, and that the ongoing programme of work, knowledge and expertise of partners is essential for successful delivery.

This report sets out the progress that has been made in the first year since publication of the plan. Of the 61 actions in the plan, initial progress towards delivery has been made on over 50 of them, tackling the wide range of pressures which impact wild salmon. It is also important to recognise the significant efforts and wide range of action and investment at a local level led by District Salmon Fishery Boards, Rivers and Fisheries Trusts and other partners in support of wild salmon conservation, which could not be listed in detail here.

In 2023/24 Scottish Government has made a significant investment in wild salmon protection and recovery through supporting monitoring, restoration and research projects. With the scale of the pressures on the Scottish Budget position, investment has been made in the most strategic and efficient way through the delivery of the strategy and plan. The Nature Restoration Fund, the Water Environment Fund and other public grant schemes will continue to provide financial support for projects benefiting wild salmon, and rivers more widely. Alternative routes of funding the work in future years will continue to be explored, such as through nature finance initiatives. The important ongoing investment made by fishery owners and anglers, through the salmon assessment system has also made a significant contribution to delivering the outcomes of the strategy.

Directly following publication of the plan, the Wild Salmon Strategy Implementation Plan Delivery Group was established, chaired by Scottish Government with representatives from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), NatureScot, Scottish Forestry, Scottish Environment Link, Crown Estate Scotland, Angling Scotland, Atlantic Salmon Trust (AST), Fisheries Management Scotland (FMS) and their members. The role of the Delivery Group is to direct and oversee progress of delivering the actions within the plan.


Email: SalmonandRecreationalFisheries@gov.scot

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