New scheme to improve health of wild salmon

The sector is facing a number of significant challenges, including a decline in the number of salmon.
The sector is facing a number of significant challenges, including a decline in the number of salmon.

A new Salmon Interactions Workstream to provide expert advice on mitigating pressures on wild salmon has been launched by the Scottish Government.

As part of the workstream, a working group has been established to examine, as an initial task, the interactions between farmed and wild salmon, and make recommendations on how any associated impacts can be minimised.

The group will be chaired independently by John Goodlad, who has extensive experience across the sector and is currently chairman of Fisheries Innovation Scotland, and the membership will come from the aquaculture and wild fisheries sectors, Marine Scotland, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Scottish Natural Heritage.

Both the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation and Fisheries Management Scotland have welcomed the group’s establishment and remit.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Wild salmon is one of Scotland’s most iconic species but the sector faces significant challenges, including declining numbers. The development of this new interactions working group will therefore play a vital role in the industry’s future, providing advice on mitigating the impact of aquaculture on our wild salmon populations.”

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing added: “I am delighted to launch the Salmon Interactions Workstream and Working Group. John Goodlad will bring a wealth of experience to his role as Chair, and the membership of the group will ensure that industry and relevant stakeholders are well represented as we look at how we can ensure a sustainable and thriving future for both farmed and wild salmon.”

Group chairman John Goodlad said: “I welcome the opportunity to help drive forward discussions between the aquaculture and wild fishery sectors. I am very aware that both Mr Ewing and Ms Cunningham wish to see clear progress, and I already know that both sectors will be engaging with the process in a positive and enabling manner, building on the exchanges during the Parliamentary process over the last few months.”