Last update: 19th August 2015.

Atlantic Salmon - Lost at Sea

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Atlantic Salmon Trust
Atlantic Salmon Trust
Atlantic Salmon – Lost at Sea
I want introduce you to an exciting project supported by the Atlantic Salmon Trust: the film, ‘Atlantic Salmon – Lost at Sea!’

The producer is Deirdre Brennan who has been making this film for 6 years in the rivers of North America, Europe, Iceland, Greenland, and at sea in the Atlantic Ocean. It tells the story of the collapse in abundance of wild Atlantic salmon over the last thirty years.

The film records the urgent quest to try to solve the mystery of the salmon’s life at sea and to answer the question: ‘why are salmon dying in greater numbers than ever before in their ocean environment and not returning to their native rivers?’

The film, takes the viewer on a journey through the mysterious world of the King of Fish, and highlights some of the important research, conservation and restoration work of AST and others in all the wild Atlantic salmon countries. It describers the groundbreaking research programme to track salmon on their epic migration to try to find out why and where they are dying at sea.

Filming is now complete and it is ready to edit. In order to raise the last 10% of the budget needed, Deirdre has embarked on a Kickstarter campaign to bring in funds to finish the project. Kickstarter is a crowd-funding platform and in its 10 years has raised over $1.6 billion for creative projects, including many documentary films. All projects are vetted in advance. It is an all or nothing principle – if the goal is not reached, then no money changes hands. The campaign is for 30 days and will run from August 6th – September 5th. The goal is £30,000.

Please support this most worthwhile venture. Its aim is to raise public awareness about the plight of our salmon. The film will be used widely at national, regional and local levels to raise money for salmon conservation. By contributing money – as much as you can afford, no matter how small an amount – to the film you are therefore directly supporting our international campaign to save the salmon.

Please see the link below for more details:

AST, supported by the Spey, Dee and Esks District Fishery Boards, has already contributed £12,000 to the project. Please help us to finish the job, by donating through Kickstarter – even £5 would help. This is a story of hope, and a dynamic way with real urgency to increase public commitment to saving the iconic Atlantic salmon.

We need to act now to save wild Atlantic salmon. I trust we have your support.

With best wishes,

Tony Andrews
Director Atlantic Salmon Trust

Atlantic Salmon Trust, Suite 3/11, King James VI Business Centre, Friarton Road, Perth PH2 8DG
Tel: 01738 472032 – Email: -
If you have any comments regarding this e-communication please email feedback

Trout and Salmon pitch

Well we tried and we were up against some real big hitters. That explains why the website has not been updated as regularly as usual. I was keen to leave the pitch announcement on our front page in the hope that it would drum up some more support.

To those of you that did vote for us, a great big thank you. To those of you that didn’t but voted for another pitch: well done you, at least  you participated. To those that did not vote: apathy will be our downfall, please take an interest; even if it’s bashing the Campaign! As for us: I think we done good!

My thanks to Trout and Salmon for selecting us: I will pen a thank you to them. I hoe that our participation raise the profile of the current efforts to challenge the decision by Natural Resources Wales to close all Welsh hatcheries when the salmon stocks in the great majority of Welsh rivers are in such decline and classified by NRW themselves as “at risk”. We at the Campaign started life  Environment Agency “bashing” before realising that the issue was not the Environment Agency but the Government starving the Environment Agency of funds. That realisation prompted us to try to work with, rather than against the Agency.  I should like to think that the current fractured relationship between many anglers and the new NRW can be repaired, after all we share the same aims as far as fisheries go: protection and improvement.

Trout and Salmon Magazine Pitches: we are in the final 8

We are delighted (thrilled actually) to announce that the Trout and Salmon Magazine has listed the Campaign bid for funds to challenge the closure of Welsh hatcheries.

This is your chance to vote for our pitch which is as follows:

“The Board of Natural Resources Wales has recently announced the closure of all hatcheries with the exception of a proposed ‘centre of excellence’ in Brecon Beacons National Park. The evidence presented to the Board to justify their closure was more than 200 papers, which NRW contends provide scientific evidence that hatchery-bred fish lose their genetic integrity and are less robust than their wild counterparts. It is our contention that the quoted documents do not provide such proof. Conclusions that NRW have drawn are based upon supposition. Economic considerations have been the driving factor, not the protection of salmon stocks. The papers quoted actually support the principle of mitigation stocking. Critically, most rivers in England and Wales are forecast to be either ‘at risk’ or ‘probably at risk’ by 2018. Our pitch is for an independent scientist to be appointed to assess the papers provided by NRW as evidence for their policy to close all hatcheries. The outcome should be clear and the result measurable.”

We are up against some mighty competitors, all of whom have good cases. We believe however that, under present circumstances, ours is the best. If you agree vote for pitch number 1

This link will take you to the Facebook page which lists all eight competing bids. If you support us please vote

Click here to read the Pitches

and don’t forget to go to

the voting site to actually vote That’s here

Just clicking that you like the pitch does not register at a vote

A big thanks to those of you who have already taken the time to vote.

The Angling Trust appeal for funds to protect fish from the turbines.

Angling Trust Media Release

Friday 29th May 2015

Angling Trust Logo
Appeal Launched to Stop Tidal Lagoons Damaging Marine and Migratory Fish

The Angling Trust & Fish Legal have launched an appeal to raise funds to protect marine and migratory fish from hydropower tidal lagoons, which are now being proposed in the Severn Estuary, Colwyn Bay and the Solway Firth, with the potential for many more around our coastline.

This so-far untested technology could have serious impacts, on sea angling and on migratory fish that pass through inshore waters (primarily salmon and sea trout), almost anywhere around the British coastline. Please read on, give us your support and forward this e-mail to everyone you know who cares about fish and fishing!

Generating power from tidal lagoons is a new technology and there is a lot of uncertainty about the impact on fish, but there could be significant damage to local and regional populations of fish which are already under threat such as bass, flounder, cod, eels, lamprey, shad, salmon and sea trout which spend a lot of time in the estuaries where these lagoons will be located.  Juvenile and adult fish will pass through the turbines which will put them at risk of being killed, damaged or delayed from migrating up or down river, and their life-cycles will be disrupted to an unknown extent by the massive changes to tidal flows and aquatic ecology.

The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon is the first such scheme to be proposed anywhere in the world and a decision on planning approval is expected shortly from the new Government.  In our view the Environmental Impact Assessment submitted by the developers has not provided satisfactory evidence that the lagoon will not cause major damage to stocks, and their proposed mitigation (reflecting the limited extent to which they have accepted the risks) is in our view inadequate.

Fish Legal solicitors and the Angling Trust campaigns team have spent many weeks of work on the £1bn Swansea lagoon scheme alone, challenging the developers to provide better information, submitting objections to the planning authorities and getting our concerns aired on national radio and TV.

Three more, even larger, tidal lagoons are proposed for the Severn Estuary at Cardiff, Newport and Bridgwater Bay.  The proximity of these schemes to major rivers with runs of migratory fish, including several with international conservation designations for threatened salmon and other stocks, is likely to have unacceptable consequences.  The assessment in 2010 for the English and Welsh governments of the potential impact of two lagoons in the Severn estuary concluded that, even individually, they could cause the extinction of local fish stocks of internationally high conservation value in the rivers Wye, Severn and Usk.  There is no reason why these impacts would not also apply to fish migrating up the many significant salmon and sea trout rivers flowing into Colwyn Bay (North Wales) and the Solway Firth.

We hope that Government will appreciate the unacceptable costs and uncertainties associated with the Swansea Lagoon and that it will not go ahead.  However, in case the scheme is approved, we are already fighting for effective environmental protection built in to its design and operation, including a robust monitoring programme to assess the damage to the local environment and dependent interests; to provide the information needed so that the lagoon’s operation can be adjusted to reduce that damage; and to maximise the lessons for the construction and operation of other proposed lagoons.

Unless hydropower tidal lagoons can be demonstrated to be safe for marine and migratory fish, we will do everything possible, with our limited resources, to fight to stop them being built.


Note to Editors:

  • Donations should be made payable to Fish Legal and sent to Eastwood House, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 8DQ.  Alternatively please ring 01568 620447 during office hours to make a donation using a credit or debit card.  Please specify in both cases that you want your donation to support the Tidal Lagoon Campaign.
  • There is more information about the concerns about the Swansea proposals on the Pontardawe and Swansea Angling Society page:


Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive – Angling Trust and Fish Legal. , 07973 468198

Angling Trust

The Angling Trust is the national representative and governing body for angling in England. It is united in a collaborative relationship with Fish Legal, a separate membership association using that uses the law to protect fish stocks and the rights of its members throughout the UK.  Joint membership packages with Fish Legal are available for individuals, clubs, fisheries and other categories.

Find out all about the Angling Trust and its work or call us on 01568 620447

Forward to a friend

Announcing the passing of Moc Morgan

I have received this simple but poignant email advising of the death of Moc Morgan

“It is with the deepest regrets and a heavy grieving heart that I regretfully send this e-mail to inform you of the extremely sad news that Moc Morgan passed away peacefully this morning at his home in Waunfawr, Aberystwyth.  Deepest sympathies are extended to his wife Julia, his son Hywel and all the Family.”

Moc’s name is and has for many years been synonymous with fishing in Wales as well as with Welsh sea trout. He worked tirelessly for our sport: even as his health was failing he continued to attend and address angling related meeting. He was a larger than life angler who won and very much deserved the respect of the angling community. A great loss and we too offer our deepest sympathies  to his wife Julia, his son Hywel and all the Family

EA Prosecute for Cattle Bank Poaching

Kris Kent Principal Consultant at Techniques for Change
WTT’s Conservation Officers routinely meet examples where livestock have access right to the river’s edge, causing a raft of cattle poaching problems for the river – the animals eat virtually all the bankside vegetation, they trample the banks and cause damaging silt to get into the river, killing plants, invertebrates and trout (and other fish) eggs.

It’s been a frustration for us and many of the people we work with that nothing ever seems to be done about regulating this damage.
Well, now there’s a case in Shropshire where a farmer has been prosecuted by EA and fined £14000 for just such harm. In this case, the farmer was repeatedly warned by EA, he was offered (and refused) fully-funded fencing, yet he allowed the damage to continue and was finally nicked.

EA’s case, driven by two keen local officers, relied solely on photographic evidence (i.e. without invertebrate or water quality data) and used new magistrate sentencing guidelines produced under the Water Resources Act. In this case, the stream being polluted connected to a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) with highly-protected pearl mussels BUT the case proceeded because the EA team were confident that there was pollution happening, not simply because of the sensitive nature of the catchment.

Good news for our rivers and hopefully empowering for our regulatory authorities. The photo below demonstrates the damage done on the River Unk, with further detail in the local newspaper:

UDN? Let's hope not! Please see download.

WARNING issued by the EA to Wye lads. Please read this post and distribute the flyer on UDN. This MAY be serious.


As influential men of the salmon fisheries of both the Severn and Wye could you please spread the word of the attached document and share. But most importantly can you please get a clear message out, that we DO NOT want fish killed that may be suspected of UDN or other skin conditions. The clear message from the Environment Agency at Local Area- all fish should returned alive- no matter what the condition, or returned even if dead and notify the Agency. Please also make it clear that removing salmon with a hand net e.g. it spotted dead or dying in the margins, is unlawful and could result in enforcement proceedings.Please encourage folks to notify the EA on the Emergency Hotline Number 0800 80 70 60,  if they suspect fish that are unwell or distressed in anyway.


Chris Bainger MIFM Cenv   Fisheries Technical Specialist    Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire

Click here: A flyer on UDN’

River Conwy smolt release. A final thank you to the volunteers!

The work carried out by the Conwy Valley Fisheries & Conservation Association is generally unknown and unreported. A small band of enthusiasts, not all anglers, work tirelessly to help the salmon maintain its presence in the River Conwy system. The Conwy is one of only three rivers in England and Wales forecast in the 2012 salmon stock assessment by NRW and others, to have salmon stocks estimated to be “not at risk” by 2018. All three rivers so classified in the documentation, are stocked. Natural Resources Wales, the guardians of Welsh salmon, have declared that all salmonid hatcheries in Wales are to be closed, with the exception of a centre of excellence to be  created at Cunrig in the Brecon Beacons, and that all stocking of salmon and sea trout into Welsh rivers is to cease, as they fear that stocking rivers with hatchery bred fish will damage the native fish stock. It was then, with a sad heart, and a feeling that verged on despair, that I went to film and to witness, what will probably be the last ever introduction of reared smolt, into the Conwy system.

The following photographs are posted as a witness to the event and as a tribute to the dedicated team who have been carrying out this work unpaid and unacknowledged for the past several years. Thank you, to each and every one of you.

The smolt pond

First draw of the net

Removing smolt trapped in the net

The last two pictures above were taken at the outflow from the pond to a stream leading to the river. Each draw of the net across the pond was to encourage the smolt to leave the pond and enter the river. And thence to sea.

Photographs courtesy of Paul King, secretary of Wirral Game Fishing Club

Angling Trust press release.


Angling Trust Media Release

Tuesday 28 April 2015. Immediate Release

Angling Trust Logo
New appointments at Angling TrustThe Angling Trust Board of Directors met on Wednesday 22nd April and has formally approved the appointment of Roger Furniss as a Vice President and Sarah Collins as a Director of the Angling Trust.

Roger Furniss’s appointment as a Vice-President is in recognition of the huge amount of voluntary work he did to help create the Angling Trust as a united organisation for all anglers in 2009.  Roger was a founding board member of the Angling Trust and gave several years’ dedicated service to the Board and as the Chairman of Fish Legal.

After retiring as a Director, he has continued to work closely with the Angling Trust & Fish Legal in his role as Secretary of the South West Rivers Association.  He volunteered many weeks of his time serving on the hydropower working group to help make the Environment Agency’s good practice guidelines protect fish and fishing more effectively.  He continues to contribute significantly to Angling Trust & Fish Legal campaigns on canoeing, hydropower, estuary netting and the Water Framework Directive.

Sarah Collins is the Chief Executive of Get Hooked on Fishing (GHOF) and successfully applied for the voluntary role of Chair of the Angling Development Advisory Committee following the retirement of David Moore, which also involves serving on the Angling Trust Board as a Director.  Sarah brings a wealth of experience in education, safeguarding young people and angling participation to the Angling Trust from her role at GHOF and formerly as a head teacher in Yorkshire.

George Stephenson, Chairman of the Angling Trust said: “On behalf of the Angling Trust board I would like to thank Roger Furniss for all the sterling work that he has done for the benefit of fish and fishing at a national and regional level in a voluntary capacity.  The post of Vice-President is reserved only for people who have made an outstanding contribution to the organisation, amongst the thousands of volunteers who are involved in our operations.”

He continued: “I am delighted that Sarah Collins is joining the Board of Directors.  She offers not only great expertise in angling development, but also boundless enthusiasm, energy and commitment to the continued growth of the Angling Trust as the unified representative and governing body for angling in England.”

Notes to Editors

1. Contact: or 07973 468198.

2. Photos are available of both Roger and Sarah.  Please contact Mark Lloyd for these.

3. The Angling Trust is the representative organisation and national governing body for anglers in England.  It was formed in 2009 and has since incorporated 11 angling organisations to form a united organisation for all anglers.  It is united in a collaborative relationship with Fish Legal, a separate membership association using the law to protect fish stocks and the rights of its members throughout the UK.  Joint membership packages with Fish Legal are available for individuals, clubs, fisheries and other categories.

NRW invite you to

This is your chance to speak to Board Members and express your opinions. Got to be worth a try!

Click here: An invitation to meet and speak to the NRW Board’


An Introduction to Salmon Fishing

I thought these short videos may be of interest. They are Greys advertising features, we have no connection with Greys, but they do say they can be shared: so here they are      click here

River Basin Management Plan

It may seen tedious as well as pointless to respond to these consultations, but if we don’t,  we risk creating the impression that we don’t care. The new NRW, so far, seems to give little priority to fisheries, this may be because we don’t make our views know or because it is in the process of change.

PLEASE take the time to have a look, there is actually a plane relating to your river, have a quick read and if anything comes to mind, send in your views.

It is saddening that those present at meeting with the NRW are the same “old crowd”. and so few in number. I say this with great respect for those that do take the time to represent anglers: they work hard and do a good job. Now is perhaps the time for you to have a go at putting forward your views

Click on this link:

Let the Welsh Government have your views on the performance of NRW

The following invitation to express your views is copied directly from the National Assembly web site. This consultation does not appear to require you to fill in a questionnaire, simply write to express your opinions. Please try to be objective in any submission and provide some sort of evidence. All the links in the invitation below are working.


 Natural Resources Wales – Annual Scrutiny 2015

Purpose of the consultation

The Environment and Sustainability Committee has followed the creation and development of Natural Resources Wales, from the business case stage through to its creation and subsequent operation, and has undertaken various inquiries into aspects of this process.

A key feature of the Committee’s on-going scrutiny has been an annual session with the Chief Executive and Chair of Natural Resources Wales.

This year, the Committee has decided to seek the views of stakeholders and the public to help inform this scrutiny session.

We are interested to hear about your experience of working with and/or accessing services from Natural Resources Wales and how it is delivering its statutory functions (including the resources available to deliver these functions).

Where possible, we would like you to provide specific examples that support your point of view.

We will also be inviting a selection of stakeholders to give evidence to us in person on 22 April and we will be scrutinising Natural Resources Wales on 6 May.

Alongside this consultation we are inviting views to be submitted through Twitter using the hash tag #NRWscrutiny. We will be posing a series of questions at the start of each week during the consultation period to help encourage debate and a summary of Twitter interactions will be considered by the Committee before the final scrutiny session.

At the end of the process the Committee will express its view through published correspondence or a short report. All those that submit evidence will receive a copy.

Invitation to contribute to the inquiry

The Committee welcomes evidence from both individuals and organisations.  If you are responding on behalf of an organisation, please provide a brief description of the role of your organisation.

Generally, we ask for submissions to be made in writing because it is normal practice for the National Assembly to publish evidence provided to a Committee on our internet site so that it becomes part of the public record. Please let us know if you have any objections to our publishing your evidence.  We are also able to accept evidence in audio or video format.  The Committee welcomes contributions in English or Welsh, and we ask organisations with Welsh Language policies / schemes to provide bilingual responses, where applicable, in line with their public information policies.

If you wish to submit evidence, please send an electronic copy of your submission to SeneddEnv@assembly.walesAlternatively, you can write to: Committee Clerk, Environment and Sustainability Committee, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, CF99 1NA.

Submissions should arrive by 10 April 2015 and should preferably be no longer than four pages of A4, have numbered paragraphs and in a word format.  It may not be possible to take into account responses received after this date.

Disclosure of Information

You can find further details about how we will use your information at Please ensure that you have considered these details carefully before submitting information to the Committee.

Supporting documents

Contact details

Should you wish to speak to someone regarding this consultation, please use the below contact details:

Environment and Sustainability Committee
National Assembly for Wales
Pierhead Street
CF99 1NA

Email: SeneddEnv@Assembly.Wales
Telephone: 0300 200 6565

Fish Legal: fighting for anglers and our rivers

Sent: Wednesday, 25 February 2015, 17:38
Subject: Urgent News: Major Victory To End Water Company Secrecy About Pollution and Abstraction

Pictured: William Rundle (Fish Legal, Head Solicitor), David Wolfe QC (Matrix Chambers)
and Penelope Gane (Fish Legal)
 Wednesday 25th February 2015

Major Victory To End Water Company Secrecy About Pollution and Abstraction

Fish Legal has won a major victory in our groundbreaking case against Yorkshire Water Services Ltd and United Utilities Plc, which was the culmination of the six year legal campaign for greater transparency within the water and sewerage industry which we have reported to members before.
The Upper Tribunal ruled last Friday that water companies in England & Wales are ‘public authorities’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information Regulations (2004) and so are now under a legal duty to disclose environmental information they hold to the public.
The implications of this test case, which has been fought over the past 6 years, will be felt industry-wide. It could also affect companies operating in other privatised industries which have a similar role managing resources and services of public interest, such as the oil, gas, electricity providers and the Royal Mail.
Fish Legal often wants to know about sewage pollution and over-abstraction that damages rivers and coastal waters to help us fight legal cases on behalf of our member clubs and fishery owners. This judgment means we now have a right to get this information directly from the water companies themselves. In the past, several companies refused to provide any information when asked, whilst others expressly refused to disclose information in line with this law. The Judges in this case ruled they were wrong to do so.  Any concerned individual or organisation now has a right to the environmental information held by the water and sewerage companies.
The water and sewerage industry causes significant damage to the environment every year. This is partly due to the very nature of what it does in treating sewage and abstracting water, but in many cases is due to mismanagement and underreporting of incidents. The industry will now have to open up what it does to much greater public scrutiny.
We are delighted with this result, which has at long last asserted the rights of our angling members, and the wider public, to get information from these companies when they cause pollution or other damage. Being able to obtain environmental information directly about activities that affect the environment will make it much easier to deal with complex issues affecting fisheries. We sincerely hope that with the industry’s greater accountability will come higher environmental performance.
This is a huge victory for the environment and for fish and fishing. Our legal team at Fish Legal has done a brilliant job fighting this case over the past 6 years, taking on some of the largest companies in the country and winning. This has only been possible because of the support of members of the Angling Trust & Fish Legal, whose subscriptions enable us to fight these battles for the benefit of all anglers and the water environment. Once again, we have demonstrated that when anglers unite, we can be a very powerful force for good.
Please click here to forward this message to every angler you know and encourage them to join us so that we can do more work like this for the benefit of all fish and fishing.  There are lots of challenges we could take on if we had more funds.
If you are not a member yourself, please join
the Angling Trust & Fish Legal HERE or by calling 01568 620447