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.

Building an evidence base through coordinated scientific research and monitoring

Scientific research and monitoring are critical to providing a robust evidence base required to deliver the actions within the plan. Since publication of the plan;

  • The Wild Salmon Strategy Implementation Plan Science and Evidence Board, which reports to the Delivery Group has been established. The role of the Board is to provide evidence to the Delivery Group on a range of topics, in 2023 the Board has considered the evidence on warm water impacts on fish health and welfare and novel approaches to stocking. [Action A]
  • In summer 2023, a report on the status of wild salmon in Scotland was published via a Marine Directorate blog post. [Action B]
  • There has been significant investment in wild salmon monitoring in 2023 through the National Electrofishing Programme for Scotland (NEPS) and the Adult Salmon Sampling Programme. The data collected is currently being collated and analysed, samples have also been collected for the National Introgression Programme for Scotland (NIPS). Funding has been provided through Marine Fund Scotland to Fisheries Management Scotland and it’s members for the purchasing of new electrofishing equipment. Provisional catch statistics for 2022 were published on 1st March 2023, with the full Official Statistics published on 17th May 2023 [Action C].
  • In 2023 Scottish Government continued to support the Scottish Fisheries Coordination Centre (SFCC). The SFCC has provided evidence based training and support to fisheries managers across Scotland. [Action D]
  • The development of fisheries management plans, taking a coordinated approach across Scotland, funded by Crown Estate Scotland and Scottish Government, is underway, supported by FMS and SFCC and the plans will be publicly available in 2024. [Action E]
  • A detailed scoping document has been developed for a study on the economic, environmental and social benefits of wild salmon in Scotland. Work is underway to identify a suitable contractor to undertake the work which will be funded by Scottish Government and Crown Estate Scotland. [Action F]
  • Scottish Government funded hydroacoustic cameras have been installed on the rivers Laxford and Deveron as part of wider catchment scale restoration projects. The use of the cameras to count fish is being developed by the Atlantic Salmon Trust and the Deveron, Isla and Bogie Rivers Trust and this data will provide important information on wild salmon populations. [Action H].


Email: SalmonandRecreationalFisheries@gov.scot

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