Salmon &TA

E-Newsletter

February 2015

Why Save Our Waters is so vitally important

Learn about the Save Our Waters campaign and find out how you can have your say when it comes to saving our rivers and lakes.
Read more >

Look no further for a great work experience opportunity

Looking for something to make your CV stand out? Interested in fisheries science and conservation? Then we’ve got something for you!
Read more >

How do you see ‘The Invisible World’? We’d like to know!

We’ve created ‘The Invisible World’ – a new video competition to encourage people to look at – really look at – our beautiful waterways in all their variety and richness. The competition is open to all UK residents, and there’s a £2,000 prize for the best entry.
Read more >

Phosphates are not the whole story…

Nick Measham discusses one of his first duties as our Freshwater Campaigns Consultant – attending a Natural England and Environment Agency seminar on the Hampshire Avon catchment’s Nutrient Management Plan.
Read more >

Toxic fish in clean water?

Paul Knight shares further thoughts on the report telling us about freshwater fish having a buildup of toxic chemicals in their flesh, including a few rather disturbing issues that have come to light after discussions with various fisheries and water quality people.
Read more >

Open letter from Paul Knight to Natural Resources Wales

Read the open letter written on behalf of our Welsh organisation, S&TA (Cymru), who have expressed deep concern over the recent work carried out in-stream at Llanrwst, Conwy, as part of a flood alleviation scheme.
Read more >

Dismissal of appeal by Scottish Salmon Co. welcomed

The Salmon &Trout Association (Scotland) has welcomed the decision this week by the Scottish Government’s Reporter to dismiss an appeal by The Scottish Salmon Company against planning permission for one of its salmon farms being limited to ten years.
Read more >

Annual Meeting and Luncheon

The Annual Meeting of the Membership will be held on Monday 27th April (Note: this is a change of date from that published in the Autumn 2014 issue of Gamefisher) 11.30am at Fishmongers’ Hall. Following the meeting we will hold a fabulous Association lunch prepared by the Fishmongers’ Company’s renowned team of chefs. Members and guests are welcome, and places, at a cost of £50 per head inclusive of champagne reception and wines should be booked by contacting Debbie Creasy – telephone: 020 7283 5838 ext 3 or email: debbie@salmon-trout.org
S&TA Membership

Do you have a friend – or friends! – who isn’t/aren’t a members(s) of the S&TA but who you think really should be? Please encourage your friends and acquaintances to do their bit by joining the Salmon & Trout Association - why not forward this E-Newsletter to your contacts list, and ask them to visit our web site? Also, if you haven’t already signed up to Gift Aid your own subscription or donation, please do so.
Click Here

© Salmon & Trout Association
Admin Office, PO Box 1301, Maidstone ME14 9PX
Company registration number 5051506 Charity No. 1123285
Charity Registered in Scotland: SC041584

 

E-Newsletter

May 2014

FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, EA LIMITS PHOSPHATE DISCHARGES INTO RIVER ITCHEN
S&TA’s independent monitoring  and  our partnership with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (HIWWT), which put intense pressure on the EA, has resulted in  the  issue of revised permits covering discharges from watercress farms on the River Itchen. Read more  
NETTING CATCH OF SALMON IN SCOTLAND LEAPS BY MASSIVE 50% IN 2013
The number of salmon killed in nets in 2013 was 50% higher than in 2012 – according to the official Scottish Government figures. Read more
ASDA DROPS WESTER ROSS FISHERIES AS FARMED SALMON SUPPLIER – THANKS TO S&TA CAMPAIGN
Over the last year we have consistently exposed WRF’s lamentable record on sea lice management. We have maintained pressure on Asda to drop WRF as a supplier, including a news release in December and several legal letters.  Result:  Asda has now announced it has dropped WRF as their farmed salmon suppliers.   Read more at S&TA IN THE MEDIA
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR THE GAME FAIR

Are you able to help S&TA at the Game Fair this year –half a day, a day, all three days?   We really need you to help with the game fishing competitions each day, measuring casting distances, timing competitors and some admin. No expert skills are required!    The Game Fair this year will be held in the gorgeous grounds of Blenheim Palace (July 18 – 20) – and will be a terrific day out for all the family. In return for half a day’s help, you will receive a free entry ticket and a refreshment voucher.

If you do have the time, and would like to support the cause, please contact Philip Wellesley-Davies by email quoting ‘Game Fair 2014 Help’ and advise him which day or days you are available and which shift – either AM or PM. If you are able to help for two or even three days, that would be even better. If you know of any friends (even non-fisherman) who would also like to help, please let him know me or ask them to email him. It is not necessary to be an S&TA member.

WHAT WE DO – HOW WE DO IT – HOW WE FUND IT – HOW YOU CAN HELP
Those of our members who were not able to attend this year���s Annual Meeting at Fishmongers’ Hall on 29 April are now able to read all about it in Fundraising Manager Gale Gould’s entertaining blog here.
…WHILE ON THE RIVER BANK…
Paul Knight’s timely blog on what the caring flyfisher should be looking out for while walking the river bank this season is here.
AND HOW IT ALL BEGINS: Rosemary Gunn reports on a highly successful S&TA Junior Day jointly held by the Nottinghamshire Branch Junior Section and Colwick FFC 
This was our best day to date! Our days for youngsters aged between 8 & 16 are now very well patronised and today we had 11 taking part.  Between them they caught a record 5 fish and most of them experienced pulls, or had a fish on and lost it.Read more
OUR ANNUAL AUCTION : LIVE AND ONLINE!

Our appeal for lots for this year’s event has so far generated nearly £20,000-worth of items, ranging from a wide selection of fishing days at all prices to a super-indulgent pampering overnighter, from a two night’s stay for two at the Dryburgh Abbey Hotel to your very own sporting day’s photoshoot, undertaken by Tarquin Millington-Drake – and very much more.     But please don’t think that we have enough!

We need many more lots to support the biggest fund-raising event of the year. The live auction takes place during the Dinner, on 9 October,  and for the first time we shall also be running a delayed online auction (rather like the eBay model) and we need YOU to help make this a huge success! It is hoped that by running an online auction on the S&TA website, as well as an auction at the dinner, we can maximise on the opportunities to generate a lively bidding process and increase the total funds raised.

If you are able to offer an item with angling appeal, please do contact Gale Gould by email.  She will be delighted to hear from you.

Raise funds for S&TA at no cost to you

 

We’re helping S&TA to raise money whenever we shop online – could you do the same?

 

It’s very simple – just visit the easyfundraising website to register and shop with over 2000 well known retailers like Amazon, Argos, M&S, eBay and many more. Whenever we buy something, the retailer makes a donation to the Salmon & Trout Association.

 

We’d be really grateful if you could use easyfundraising too. It won’t cost you a penny extra to shop through easyfundraising and you can even save money with special offers and voucher codes.

 

Once you’ve registered, if you download the ‘Find and Remind’ add-on it will automatically remind you every time you visit a site which offers a donation – it’s really easy!

S&TA MEMBERSHIP

 

Do you have a friend – or friends! – who isn’t/aren’t a member(s) of the S&TA but who you think really should be?  Please encourage your friends and acquaintances to do their bit by joining the Salmon & Trout Association – why not forward this E-Newsletter to your contacts list, and ask them to visit our web site?  Also, if you haven’t already signed up to Gift Aid your own subscription or donation, please do so.
Click Here

May 2013

Welcome to S&TA’s May E-Newsletter.  We were hoping the Water Bill would have been published by now, but at least it was included in Wednesday’s Queen’s Speech. However, it doesn’t look as though we are going to gain much solace from it – no new abstraction policy and a serious danger of increased abstraction in some catchments from trading of abstraction licenses, which will almost certainly be included in the Bill.

 

So we continue to fight political ignorance towards protecting the aquatic environment, and below are a couple of updates on our robust legal and scientific approach to relevant case studies.

 

Good news is that we have appointed a new Fundraising Manager, which we report below, and there are also two members’ offers and a reminder of how you can raise money for the Association with no cost or effort to yourself!  

Annual Members’ Meeting

We held our Annual Members’ Meeting (AMM) at Fishmongers’ Hall on April 23rd.  This being his first AMM as Chairman, Dick Bronks presented former S&TA Chairman, James Carr, with a top of the range Orvis fly reel in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Association over the past six years.

 

We then had presentations on the work of the Association in England, Scotland and Wales, and a special speech from Westminster MP, Charles Walker, on the plight of chalkstreams, and how his Government must face up to its responsibilities towards protecting not only the chalk rivers, but all systems relying on water for their existence.  He focussed on excessive water abstraction, and was very critical of the tinkering around the edges that played such a dangerous part in the planning process for new housing schemes in areas already struggling for water supplies.  For example, rainfall and grey water collection is very laudable where they were actually included in new builds, but that is a smokescreen if the local water environment was already over-abstracted. 

 

Charles left us in no doubt that he would fight tooth and nail in Parliament for a new sustainable abstraction policy from his Government, and would gather as many other troops around him as he could muster.  It was good to see such strong commitment from an MP – let’s hope the Government become equally as committed!

S&TA Challenges EA over River Protection

 

As a continuation of the Chalkstream Complaint, S&TA and Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (HIWWT) have jointly written to the Environment Agency (EA) expressing their great concern at the lack of progress on the Upper Itchen in relation to the regulation and control of phosphate discharges, particularly from watercress beds into the River Itchen Special Area of Conservation (SAC), designated under the Habitats Directive.

 

Despite earlier assurances from the EA that a resolution on improved standards would be given by the end of March 2013, there has been little action and there is still no timetable to implement the necessary changes. 

 

The S&TA and HIWWT pointed out that the EA has the legal obligation to apply the test laid down by the Habitats Directive that it must be beyond reasonable scientific doubt that the activity being investigated is not causing damage to the integrity of the SAC.  The SACs were identified as the very best sites for nature conservation in the UK and across Europe, and the Directive does not envisage that damaging operations should be permitted to persist oneconomic grounds alone if they threaten the integrity of the SAC concerned.

 

We stressed that If the consequence of new standards is that the watercress growers are unable to function economically on the Itchen, or any other industry on a protected river, then these businesses must be relocated.

 

Read full press release and letter here

S&TA’s aquaculture demand to Scottish Government over sea lice data

The Salmon & Trout Association Scotland (S&TAS) is demanding that Scottish Government stop protecting salmon farmers from proper scrutiny. In advance of the Stage 3 debate next Wednesday 15th May on the Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill in the Scottish Parliament, the S&TAS has today again shown the Scottish Government why it needs to require publication of weekly sea-lice count data relating to each salmon farm in Scotland by law, either by amending the current Bill, or by using existing powers in the Aquaculture Act 2007, by publishing a list of Scottish salmon farms that the Scottish Government’s own Fish Health Inspectorate has noted as breaching sea-lice thresholds.

 

S&TAS viewed with disappointment the failure, at Stage 2, of the Committee of MSPs examining the Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill to agree amendments tabled by Alex Fergusson MSP, which would have required the publication of farm-specific sea-lice data relating to each and every salmon farm in Scotland, bringing Scotland into line with Ireland and Norway.

 

The key question for both the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament is which is more important – the supposed confidential interests of the fish-farmers or the public right to know what is being released by the salmon-farmers into the wider environment potentially causing huge damage to wild fish conservation?”

 

Read full press release here

S&TA Employs new Fundraising Manager

On May 20th, Gale Gould will take up the new position of Fundraising Manager for S&TA.  This is the first time the Association has employed a professional fundraiser on a full-time basis and shows the widening of our funding base. Historically, S&TA relied mainly on membership subscriptions to finance its work, but increased focus on individual projects and campaigns has meant that, while membership continues to cover our core work, grants, donations and legacies are becoming increasingly important in providing the extra resources we need to support our robust legal and scientific approach to tackling issues affecting our rivers, lakes and fish.

 

Gale is a chartered member of the Institute of Fundraising and has worked for the past five years for the Hawk Conservancy Trust near Andover as Head of Marketing, PR and Funding.  She has also worked for the Macular Disease Society on its Legacy programme and, previous to that, in various marketing roles for Salisbury District Council, including tourism.

 

She comes with a wide experience recently in raising funds for an organisation very similar to ours – a charity (Hawk Conservancy) specialising in the conservation of species and habitats that has its roots in a country sport.

 

Gale will give regular reports to Trustees, and to the membership in ENewsletters, Gamefisher.  She will also support S&TA regions, branches and individuals who raise funds for the national Association.

 

Gale said, “I am thrilled to be taking up this exciting new challenge and look forward very much to working with the Trustees, members and team at S&TA to radically expand income generation for the Association.”  

Fantastic Promotion Offer for the Longleat Show!
‘Limited Edition’ Advance Tickets

We have an exclusive offer for S&TA members.  Buy your advance ‘LIMITED EDITION’ tickets for the Longleat Fishing and Country Show TODAY and receive a huge discount on the normal prices.  The first 500 bookings will pay just £10 adult and £5 for a child – this means that a family can save a further £10 on our already discounted family ticket making a fantastic saving of £18.

To buy, just visit the Longleat website and quote Promotion code STA001. It’s as simple as that!

 

In addition to this amazing offer, you’ll also benefit from Fast Track entry, thus avoiding any queues AND you’ll be able to enter the Free Draw for some stunning prizes. Don’t wait till tomorrow – buy tickets today!

Special Book Discount for S&TA Members

S&TA CEO Paul Knight has co-authored a book, Britain’s Game Fishes, with a member of S&TA’s Scientific Advisory team, Dr Mark Everard.  The book’s subtitle,  Celebration and Conservation of Salmonids, sums up its approach.  All the native salmonids, as well as the odd interloper (the American rainbow trout!), are described, as are the multiple problems they face, before the book concludes with positive conservation success stories.  This book is aimed at anglers, conservationists and anyone else with an enquiring mind about rivers and larger stillwaters who wants to understand more about these fascinating fishes and what can be done to protect them for the future.

 

The publishers are offering a 25% discount on Britain’s Game Fishes, and the authors are contributing a proportion of their royalties to S&TA’s work in protecting the fish and their habitats. To purchase, please link to the publishers’ website

Raise funds for S&TA at no cost to you

 

We’re helping S&TA to raise money whenever we shop online – could you do the same?

 

It’s very simple – just visit the easyfundraising website to register and shop with over 2000 well known retailers like Amazon, Argos, M&S, eBay and many more. Whenever we buy something, the retailer makes a donation to the Salmon & Trout Association.

 

We’d be really grateful if you could use easyfundraising too. It won’t cost you a penny extra to shop through easyfundraising and you can even save money with special offers and voucher codes.

 

Once you’ve registered, if you download the ‘Find and Remind’ add-on it will automatically remind you every time you visit a site which offers a donation – it’s really easy!

S&TA MEMBERSHIP

Do you have a friend – or friends! – who isn’t/aren’t a member(s) of the S&TA but who you think really should be?  Please encourage your friends and acquaintances to do their bit by joining the Salmon & Trout Association – why not forward this E-Newsletter to your contacts list, and ask them to visit our web site?  Also, if you haven’t already signed up to Gift Aid your own subscription or donation, please do so.
Click Here
© Salmon & Trout Association
Admin Office, PO Box 1301, Maidstone ME14 9PX
Company registration number 5051506 Charity No. 1123285
Charity Registered in Scotland: SC041584
S&TA Scotland
E-Newsletter
May 2013

This is the first of what will be quarterly E-Newsletters, intended to keep you up to date with what is happening with the Salmon and Trout Association in Scotland (S&TAS).

Re-organisation

Since the summer of 2012 S&TAS has been radically re-organised in Scotland under the Chairmanship of Hughie Campbell Adamson. There is a new Scottish Committee, new part-time Scottish Director (Andrew Graham-Stewart) and new website here 

 

This reorganisation continues with the ongoing appointment of new Regional Chairmen. To date they are:

 

Lawson Devery –Dumfries-shire

Ken Freshwater – Angus and Dundee

Jeremy Hopkins – Aberdeenshire and Moray

Alasdair Reynolds – Edinburgh and Lothians

Bob Stewart - Tayside

Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill

 

Passage of the Bill to date

The Stage 1 debate concluded with the Scottish Parliament supporting the general principles of the Bill. Whilst this debate included several positive statements by members of the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment committee (RACCE) and other MSPs relating to some key issues, particularly the publication of sea lice data by the aquaculture industry on a farm by farm basis and the need for individually numbered carcass tags for net-caught fish, things began to unravel during the RACCE committee’s review of the Bill at Stage 2. Despite unequivocal cross-party support for many amendments lodged by wild fish interests (with input and support from S&TAS), when it came to the vote on these amendments committee members voted on party lines and consequently all were defeated.

 

Committee system found wanting

This begs the question: just what is the point of the committee system (for scrutinising Bills) if members do not have the ability to vote according to their own beliefs? The RACCE committee spent days in November and December considering evidence on the Bill �� both written and oral (S&TAS provided both) – but all this effort was apparently to no avail. In fact the only amendments voted through at Stage 2 by the RACCE committee were those submitted by Scottish Government. It is a sad day for democracy when the committee system is essentially nullified by the whips.

 

Stage 3

Amendments may still be lodged at Stage 3 (scheduled for May 15) but, given that votes will be taken by the whole Parliament, the chances of any measures being approved that do not accord with the SNP Scottish Government’s thinking are remote. All in all this is a depressing scenario and, particularly as regards salmon farming, confirming once again Scottish Government’s absolute determination to maintain its light touch regulation of the industry and to thwart outside scrutiny of the environmental impact.

 

S&TAS’s continuing role

S&TAS will continue to expose the salmon farming industry’s failure to address the serious impact on wild salmon and sea trout stocks and its lamentable environmental record. Increasingly we will be focusing on the industry’s main retailers, urging them to apply pressure on their suppliers, not least by identifying exactly which farms those suppliers are (we can then see if the environmental performance of the particular farms is consistent with the claims made). In the context of a Government that appears to support salmon farming expansion whatever the environmental cost, major customers are by default best placed to enforce change in the aquaculture industry.

 

S&TAS’s ultimate aim is unchanged – that all farmed salmon production be moved to closed containment units.

Sustainable Inshore Fisheries Trust

As emphasised in the most recent Gamefisher, well-organised local campaigns currently stand the best chance of blocking planning applications for either new salmon farms or proposals to increase tonnage. Anyone wishing to mount such a campaign would be well-advised to study SIFT’s Aquaculture Information Pack (click here), which was partly drafted by S&TA’s Guy Linley-Adams. It explains which organisations do what, where information can be found, what that data means, sample letters and case studies.

Mixed stocks netting increasing

 

The Montrose-based Usan Salmon, Scotland’s largest netting concern and a ruthlessly efficient operator, which acquired and began netting at new locations in Caithness and on the Moray coast in 2012, is investigating further opportunities to expand. The company has the necessary infrastructure (a massive “shed” erected with a £100k EU grant, facilitated by Scottish Government) to make nets and repair boats at minimal cost. S&TAS is aware of Usan already making approaches to or registering an interest in three additional netting stations (encompassing many miles of productive coastline) in 2013.

 

At all three locations conservation interests (S&TAS has been asked to help) are actively engaged in attempts to thwart Usan’s ambitions.

 

Definitive list of netting stations

In order to minimise future moves by existing netting operations or others to acquire and work additional netting stations, S&TAS (in co-operation with others where appropriate) aims to draw up a definitive list of every netting station in Scotland and the owners of each. We intend to approach owners to ascertain their future plans and where necessary discuss leasing and buying. We believe that once a problem is identified, and the solution found, the money can be raised, especially in the context of the threat to riparian owners’ capital values through a diminution of salmon runs caused by increased netting.

 

In the meantime, if any S&TAS member hears of a netting station being offered for sale or a dormant netting station being re-activated, please contact the Director.

Special Book Discount for S&TA Members

 

 

S&TA CEO Paul Knight has co-authored a book, Britain’s Game Fishes, with a member of S&TA’s Scientific Advisory team, Dr Mark Everard.  The book’s subtitle,  Celebration and Conservation of Salmonids, sums up its approach.  All the native salmonids, as well as the odd interloper (the American rainbow trout!), are described, as are the multiple problems they face, before the book concludes with positive conservation success stories.  This book is aimed at anglers, conservationists and anyone else with an enquiring mind about rivers and larger stillwaters who wants to understand more about these fascinating fishes and what can be done to protect them for the future.

The publishers are offering a 25% discount on Britain’s Game Fishes, and the authors are contributing a proportion of their royalties to S&TA’s work in protecting the fish and their habitats. To purchase, please link to the publishers’ websiteand enter the code ‘BGF25′ to receive your discount.

Please do get in touch if you would like any further details on any of the above.

 

Best wishes

 

Andrew Graham-Stewart

Director �� Salmon and Trout Association Scotland

director@salmon-troutscotland.org

S&TA MEMBERSHIP

Do you have a friend – or friends! – who isn’t/aren’t a member(s) of the S&TA but who you think really should be?  Please encourage your friends and acquaintances to do their bit by joining the Salmon & Trout Association – why not forward this E-Newsletter to your contacts list, and ask them to visit our web site?  Also, if you haven’t already signed up to Gift Aid your own subscription or donation, please do so.
Click Here
Salmon & Trout Association Scotland
Siskin, Bonar Bridge, Sutherland, IV24 3AW
Email: director@salmon-troutscotland.org
© Salmon & Trout Association
Admin Office, PO Box 1301, Maidstone ME14 9PX
Company registration number 5051506 Charity No. 1123285
Charity Registered in Scotland: SC041584

April 2013

CAP reform

We were very proud to see S&TA members’  votes were among the highest for any organisation in the UK in a recent EU consultation over reform of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), so thanks to all of you who took part. Over 85,000 people across Europe voted, demanding a strong and meaningful green reform of CAP.

Despite some wins for the environment, overall the reform still lacks ambition. European Parliament, the Commission and Member States will now negotiate over these different measures and it seems that options for a truly sustainable agriculture will inevitably be watered down further.

However, we will keep fighting for a stronger CAP. As the final decision on the reform will not be taken before summer 2013, and the implementation of the European legislation and programmes into national or regional legislation will take until the beginning of 2014, you can still influence the process. Contact your MEPs; write to your national ministries and regional administrations. Show that you, as a taxpayer, care how your money is spent and that you will act to protect the aquatic environment…

New dedicated website for S&TA Scotland

 

S&TA Scotland  (S&TAS) has undergone considerable reorganisation to reflect the increasing importance of our work and is now a fully autonomous division of the S&TA,   under the direction of its Chairman, Hughie Campbell Adamson, who heads its Executive Committee.     It has just launched its new website - click here - which contains all the information about its campaigns, including Aquaculture, and the people taking this forward.

Leave a Legacy – and help ensure our work carries on

Legacies, however small, are an extremely important element of S&TA’s funding.   They have helped such vital projects recently as squashing Forestry Commission Wales’ attempts to plant acid-producing trees in the headwaters of the Tywi river system, ensuring withdrawal of a hydropower scheme on the River Itchen and undertaking a fly life survey in Bewl Water reservoir in Kent .   

We now have a new section on our website that outlines how you can ensure that the S&TA work you are supporting now can carry on to protect the aquatic environment for future generations.  Click here.   And just remember – Gifts to charity are exempt from Inheritance Tax (IHT) during your lifetime or as a bequest.  If you leave more than 10 per cent of your estate to charity, any remainder over the IHT threshold (currently £325,000), will be taxed at a reduced rate of 36 per cent.

Raise funds for S&TA at no cost to you

 

We’re helping S&TA to raise money whenever we shop online – could you do the same?

 

It’s very simple – just visit the easyfundraising website to register and shop with over 2000 well known retailers like Amazon, Argos, M&S, eBay and many more. Whenever we buy something, the retailer makes a donation to the Salmon & Trout Association.

 

We’d be really grateful if you could use easyfundraising too. It won’t cost you a penny extra to shop through easyfundraising and you can even save money with special offers and voucher codes.

 

Once you’ve registered, if you download the ‘Find and Remind’ add-on it will automatically remind you every time you visit a site which offers a donation – it’s really easy!

Fly Fishing day in Yorkshire

 

 

The venerable Appletreewick, Barden and Burnsall Angling Club – ABBAC – which was founded in 1873 – in association with the S&TA is running its Wharfedale Fly Fishing Day on Sunday 12th May on the banks of the Wharfe at Burnsall Green.  Entry is free and on offer are bug hunts, casting competitions, instruction, tackle to try out and much more.  It’s a beautiful part of the world and well worth a visit.

S&TA MEMBERSHIP

Do you have a friend – or friends! – who isn’t/aren’t a member(s) of the S&TA but who you think really should be?  Please encourage your friends and acquaintances to do their bit by joining the Salmon & Trout Association – why not forward this E-Newsletter to your contacts list, and ask them to visit our web site?  Also, if you haven’t already signed up to Gift Aid your own subscription or donation, please do so.
Click Here
© Salmon & Trout Association
Admin Office, PO Box 1301, Maidstone ME14 9PX
Company registration number 5051506 Charity No. 1123285
Charity Registered in Scotland: SC041584

E-NewsletterJune 2012

 

IN THIS ISSUE:

 

1.         Aquaculture

2.         NASCO Report

3.         Bewl Water Flylife Survey

4.         Call for Game Fair Volunteers

Aquaculture

The Salmon and Trout Association (S&TA) has just published yet more worrying evidence of widespread failure to control sea lice in the Scottish salmon-farming industry. An analysis by S&TA of the inspections conducted by the Scottish Government’s Fish Health Inspectorate of marine salmon farms in Scotland between June and December last year (2011), obtained under freedom of information, shows:

 

-          of the marine farms inspected over 30% were breaching the industry’s own Code of Good Practice sea-lice standards during the period for which sea-lice records were inspected; and

 

-          either resistance to, of lack of efficacy of, sea-lice treatments was recorded at 17% of sites.

 

Read the full report here

 

Also, read the S&TA Report on Benthic Chemical Residues under and around fish cages, published a couple of weeks ago here

NASCO Report

 

 

The CEO, Paul Knight, has just attended the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO) meeting in Edinburgh, which turned out to be as frustrating as usual.  An external review into NASCO’s workings was recently published, recommending greater ‘teeth’ for the organisation, and legally binding resolutions for participating parties.  That would be a huge benefit to NGOs, which have been lobbying for mandate change for many years, but the reaction of the parties was predictably muted, and nothing will happen until at least next year’s annual meeting, at which point the Heads of Delegation will have met inter-sessionally to discuss how they should proceed on the report’s recommendations.

 

Meanwhile, the parties did agree 3 year quotas for both Greenland – subsistence fishery of 20 tonnes for internal consumption only – and the Faroe Islands – retaining the right to fish but agreeing not to.  A small positive amongst a continuing morass of inertia and lack of any real international commitment to protecting wild Atlantic salmon from the impacts of aquaculture, mixed stock fisheries and the like.  

 

To read the full external review of NASCO, click here.

Bewl Water Flylife Survey

We have just heard that the Natural History Museum is progressing well with its analysis of sediment samples taken from Bewl Water Reservoir, with a view to understanding the impacts on stillwater fly life over the past 30 years.  We hope this will be a real pointer as to the factors affecting fly life on other large reservoirs, and we will report results as soon as they become available.

Call for Game Fair Volunteers

 

 

The Game Fair is being held at Belvoir Castle this year from July 20th-22nd.  As usual, we need volunteers to help with administering the casting clinics, daily competitions and Championships running over the 3 days.  If you can spare the time to help, please contact Philip Wellesley-Davies on 0118 972 2921 (home), 07970 848534 (mobile) or by email – a free entrance ticket and food voucher will be given to each volunteer, in return for half a day’s help, allowing the rest of the time to walk round the showground.

 

Don’t forget to visit the S&TA stand and take advantage of our members-only catering area.

 

S&TA MEMBERSHIP

Do you have a friend – or friends! – who isn’t/aren’t a member(s) of the S&TA but who you think really should be?  Please encourage your friends and acquaintances to do their bit by joining the Salmon & Trout Association – why not forward this E-Newsletter to your contacts list, and ask them to visit our web site?  Also, if you haven’t already signed up to Gift Aid your own subscription or donation, please do so.
Click Here

© Salmon & Trout Association
Admin Office, PO Box 1301, Maidstone ME14 9PX
Company registration number 5051506 Charity No. 1123285
Charity Registered in Scotland: SC041584

E-NewsletterWhat Can You Do?

 

SUPPORT THE S&TA. YOUR ASSOCIATION NEEDS YOU!

 

Never has the S&TA been more involved with fisheries and water matters – from unsustainable fish farming and the scandal of mixed stock fisheries in Scotland to the huge problems of over-abstraction and pollution, the threat of hydropower and the pressures of drought in the South.  Our voice is heard where it matters – and our message is influencing the decision makers over key issues.

 

But – S&TA needs your help to ratchet up the pressure and ensure that we are there to defend fish and fisheries.   There are many ways that you can support us (and most won’t cost you a penny!). Here’s how:

Recruit a Member

Please aim to recruit just one new member this year.  Each new member not only supports us financially with his/her annual subscription; their presence adds volume to our voice, ensuring we are heard louder yet.

Go to website / Join Now

Sign up for Gift Aid

 

For every £ you give us – either as your membership subscription or as a donation – we receive an additional 25p from the government – but ONLY IF you have signed our Gift Aid form.  This is an incredibly efficient fund-raising instrument for us – it makes your donation go so much further.  If you haven’t already done so, please download the simple Gift Aid form at:

Website/gift aid

Support our online Affiliates

We now have online affiliation with Amazon, Orvis, Sportfish and iSellTackle.   This means that if you buy ANY item online from any of these companies, we automatically get a percentage of the purchase price – without it costing you a penny more.  For instance, if you buy a copy of the brilliant “Salmon Magic” from iSellTackle, we will receive £15.00! But – you must access them via our website.   Just click on the relevant banner on our Home page, and the S&TA interest is immediately registered.

Don’t forget:  You must do this each time you shop, so why not add us to your Favourites list as a reminder?

Donate an item for our Fundraising Auction

 

This popular annual event raised over £40,000 for the Association last year – all from items or promises donated by members and supporters.  Items auctioned last year ranged from fishing on “money can’t buy” stretches to angling memorabilia, from a rugby cap owned and signed by Jonny Wilkinson to lunch for two at the Flyfishers’ Club, from fishing equipment to original works of art… well, you get the idea!  We are  looking for items now for this year’s auction (to be held on Wednesday 3rd October), and are especially interested in attractive memorabilia and objets d’art – porcelain and bronze fish and animals are very popular! If you’ve got an item, or can offer some fishing, please do contact Debbie Creasy with details.

…and/or attend our Fundraising Dinner

 

 

The Auction takes place during the Dinner, which is held in the historic reception rooms at Fishmongers’ Hall.  This black tie event, which begins with a champagne reception before the delicious five-course dinner created by Fishmonger’s team of prize-winning chefs, is now a fixture in many members’ diaries, so please do book your places early to avoid disappointment.  Individual tickets are £120 each, a table for ten is £1,000. Debbie Creasy is taking bookings now.

Leave a Legacy

 

 

 

Because we do not get any government funding, we are totally reliant on members’ and supporters’ generosity to keep our work going.  If you believe in the work we’re doing, and want to preserve our precious waterways for the future, please remember us when making your Will. What better way to help ensure that your children will still be able to enjoy the sport and the aquatic environment as much as you do?  And remember: as a Charity (No. 1123285) legacies to us are free from Inheritance Tax.

S&TA MEMBERSHIP

Do you have a friend – or friends! – who isn’t/aren’t a member(s) of the S&TA but who you think really should be?  Please encourage your friends and acquaintances to do their bit by joining the Salmon & Trout Association – why not forward this E-Newsletter to your contacts list, and ask them to visit our web site?  Also, if you haven’t already signed up to Gift Aid your own subscription or donation, please do so.
Click Here

© Salmon & Trout Association
Admin Office, PO Box 1301, Maidstone ME14 9PX
Company registration number 5051506 Charity No. 1123285
Charity Registered in Scotland: SC041584

E-NewsletterMay 2012

Aquaculture

Following the end of the recent mediation talks with the industry, which produced precious little to encourage wild fish interests, S&TA recently published a report into official data on sea-lice treatment chemical residues in Scottish sea lochs associated with Scottish salmon farms. The report, based on information obtained under Freedom of Information from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), shows that, contrary to repeated assurances by the fish-farming industry, there are serious concerns over:

 

  • The failure of fish-farmers to report to SEPA self-monitored data concerning sea-lice chemical residues in the sea-bed of Scottish sea lochs
  • Sea-lice chemical residues in excess of Environmental Quality Standards
  • A reduction in audit or ‘check’ monitoring of sea-bed residues of sea-lice chemicals by SEPA, despite its role as Scotland’s environmental regulator

 

The accompanying press release and full report can be viewed here.

Shear’s Mill Hydropower Application Withdrawn

 

Eastleigh Borough Council has withdrawn its application to establish a low head hydropower generation scheme at Shears Mill on Hampshire’s iconic River Itchen.  S&TA joined local fisheries interests, including the Itchen Salmon Group and the Hampshire Salmon Trust, to object to the scheme on the grounds that it could seriously impact vital spawning and juvenile habitat for the river’s Atlantic salmon population, a designated species under the EU Habitats Directive which places Special Area of Conservation (SAC) status on the Itchen. 

 

As Guy Linley-Adams, the environmental solicitor acting for S&TA, said, “The S&TA’s view was clearly that the Environment Agency could not have granted the scheme a licence and comply with the Habitats Directive at the same time. There are legally protected rivers, such as the Itchen, where hydropower is simply not appropriate.”

See full report here

S&TA working successfully for fish and the environment!

So once again, adding legal clout to support our scientific evidence has resulted in more protection for our wild salmonids and their habitat.

Join Us Today!

S&TA MEMBERSHIP

Do you have a friend – or friends! – who isn’t/aren’t a member(s) of the S&TA but who you think really should be?  Please encourage your friends and acquaintances to do their bit by joining the Salmon & Trout Association – why not forward this E-Newsletter to your contacts list, and ask them to visit our web site?  Also, if you haven’t already signed up to Gift Aid your own subscription or donation, please do so.
Click Here

© Salmon & Trout Association
Admin Office, PO Box 1301, Maidstone ME14 9PX
Company registration number 5051506 Charity No. 1123285
Charity Registered in Scotland: SC041584


Salmon & Trout Association
E-Newsletter
March 2012
      

 

 

Contents

1.         Drought Summit

2.         Wild Brown Trout Spawning in Jeopardy

3.         Hydropower

4.         Cormorant Petition

5.         Aquaculture

6.         Mixed Stock Fisheries

7.         S&TA Wessex Branch Auction

8.         Mayfly video on the website

 

Drought Summit

On February 20th, Janina Gray, S&TA’s Head of Science, was one of only three NGO representatives invited to attend Defra’s Drought Summit, alongside Mark Owen from the Angling Trust, which gave angling and fisheries a major seat at the table ahead of many larger environmental NGOs.  The Summit was heavily weighted towards the water industry and Government Agencies, one of whom, Natural England, foolishly said that they are not seeing any impacts from the drought and that, anyway, wildlife could bounce back once the rains come. They were more concerned about fire risk on protected sites.

 

Janina reminded the Summit that, currently, three quarters of our rivers are ecologically unhealthy, which means they do not have resilience to natural events such as droughts. Salmonid migrations are already suffering as low flows make it difficult to negotiate man-made barriers in rivers, and could have long-lasting impacts for fish recruitment.  Public awareness was really important – Drought Permits and Orders meant that the environment was suffering and, even if the public water supply is protected, people should be educated about the environmental consequences of drought.

 

Wild Brown Trout Spawning in Jeopardy

We have also been able to bring to Defra’s attention the plight of wild brown trout this winter, in that several headwaters, vital for spawning and juvenile habitat, are bone dry, with obvious knock-on consequences to wild trout recruitment.  Although lack of rain is a primary reason, excessive fully consumptive water abstraction from rivers such as the Kennet and Wylye is also having a devastating environmental impact, and is central to our environmental work in England and Wales this year, along with diffuse pollution and forestation.  More on this in future communications.

 

Hydropower

Janina has also been very involved in the review of Best Practice Guidelines for hydropower schemes, again working well with Alan Butterworth from the Angling Trust.  The review has come at an opportune time, because the major issue is the residual flow left by a hydropower scheme, either going through a fish pass if the turbine is set on a weir, or down the depleted main channel reach between abstraction and discharge points if the hydro is placed on a carrier/leat.  Janina reports that she and Alan have refused to give way on the flows issue, and evidence that this has been taken seriously by the Environment Agency (EA) can be seen in the significant postponement of the publication date as EA operatives undertake more work around the issue.

 

There can be little doubt that fisheries is exerting greater pressure on these major issues, and the partnership between the AT’s angling interests and the fisheries environmental approach of S&TA, with charitable objectives of protecting fish stocks and the habitats on which they depend, has lifted our collective game considerably.

 

Cormorant Petition

John Slader represented S&TA at the recent handover to Fisheries Minister, Richard Benyon, of a petition with 16,000 names attached urging more action on the growing problem of cormorant predation on fish stocks.  This was an initiative instigated by the (Hampshire) Avon Roach Project Group, following a drastic drop in the species in this once world famous roach fishery, and was supported by several angling and fisheries organisations.

 

Once again, S&TA has been able to bring an environmental slant to this argument, taking it away from anglers versus birders and demanding an ecosystem approach to management, whereby no one species enjoys protection to the detriment of another.  After all, this argument makes sense when you consider that fish eating predators would be struggling without fish to eat.  It is a proper prey/predator balance that is required, and that takes more than just kneejerk reaction from the loudest voices if we are to make sensible and credible management decisions.

 

Aquaculture

Talks continue with Government and the fish farming industry over measures to minimise the impact of farmed fish on wild salmonids.  The focus is now on the forthcoming Fisheries and Aquaculture Bill, the consultation for which has recently closed.  You can view S&TA’s robust response to the consultation on our web site here

 

Mixed Stock Fisheries

As many of you will know, S&TA supported the Brechin AC’s complaint to Europe on the Scottish Government’s failure to protect salmon in the South Esk, an SAC river under the EU Habitats Directive.  We now hear that Usan Fisheries, the largest netting company in Scotland, has bought more fishing rights in North East Scotland that will allow them to exploit yet more salmon and sea trout of mixed stock origin, and another company has also acquired fishing that has recently been only very lightly exploited.

 

As with aquaculture, S&TA is not prepared to sit around and watch the Scottish Government openly flout its international responsibilities towards salmon conservation by supporting industries that jeopardise the protection of wild fish.  Watch this space for future announcements!

 

Wessex Branch Auction

Details can be found on the Association’s website Click here .  Not only an interesting selection of fishing “lots” but also the unique opportunity to bid for some really exciting and unusual “A day’s gliding experience with flight training included” or a “steam train footplate experience on the Watercress line”, an original oil painting …………  Please take a look and why not place a bid?

 

Mayfly video on the S&TA website

We have an absolutely terrific new video of Mayfly hatching (copyright Wild Wise Limited).  The mayfly sequence was filmed by John Slader and superbly edited by international wildlife film maker Hugh Miles with Bernard Cribbens providing the voice over.  Hugh incorporated it in episode 2 of his televised series “Catching the Impossible”. It’s only three minutes long, and is the must-see for anyone interested in our natural heritage and, of course, flyfishers!   Do go to our website and click on the Watch our Video link on the Home page

 

S&TA Membership

Do you have a friend – or friends! – who isn’t/aren���t a member(s) of the S&TA but who you think really should be?  Please encourage your friends and acquaintances to do their bit by joining the Salmon & Trout Association – why not forward this E-Newsletter to your contacts list, and ask them to visit our web site?  Also, if you haven’t already signed up to Gift Aid your own subscription or donation, please do so – click here.

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Salmon & Trout Association
E-Newsletter
August 2011

Contents

 

1.         Auction Stop Press – Jonny Wilkinson’s signed rugby cap just received!

 

2.         S&TA’s Annual Auction – online commission bidding now open!

 

3.         S&TA Trout & Grayling Questionnaire Results

 

4.         Triploids

 

5.         Kill or Release?

 

6.         Man-made Stressors

 

7.         Wanted: Anglers who can explain the benefits of recreational fishing for salmon

 

8.         Membership Drive

 

 

 

Auction STOP PRESS:  

Rugby cap owned and signed by the great Jonny Wilkinson just received!!   (Guide price £150).

 

 

S&TA’s annual auction:  online commission bidding now open!

 

From a week’s fishing on the Ponoi in July to “money can’t buy” fishing on private beats;  from a copy of “A River Runs Through It” signed by Brad Pitt to original works of art;   the annual S&TA auction, its major fund-raising event,  is now open for commission bidding online. And, because all the lots are donated, every penny raised goes directly to the S&TA.

 

The 42 (and counting!) lots are aimed to entice anglers, it is true, but within that remit there is plenty to placate the significant others in the family – such as, for example, a lunch party for six hosted by celebrity chef Prue Leith at her Cotswold home, or an overnight stay at Limewood House Hotel, recently listed in the Daily Telegraph among its choice of best country house hotels.

 

There is an eclectic and mouth-watering selection on offer with guide prices that start at just £30!  The auction itself takes place during the annual Dinner on October 6th – but you don’t have to attend the dinner in order to bid:  just click here to view the lots and place your commission bids online, by post or by telephone.   It is that simple.

 


 

S&TA Trout & Grayling Questionnaire Results

 

Many thanks to those of you who completed and returned the recent Trout & Grayling Strategy questionnaire.  The results were as follows:

 

150 responses were received:

 

(Not all questions were answered by all responders)

 

96 were from rain-fed rivers, 48 aquifer fed

 

105 supported the Precautionary Principle (PP), 27 did not

 

74 thought the T&GS adopted the Precautionary Principle, 38 did not

 

102 rivers were stocked in the respondents’ experience, 35 were not

 

63 had stocked with triploids, 44 had not

 

84 approved of stocking triploids, 47 did not

 

 

 

Triploids

 

The results were interesting and somewhat surprising, because the most vociferous voices before the questionnaire were against triploid stocking.  However, having followed up with some of these, it became clear that lack of evidence about triploids was the main concern, especially their potential impact on wild fish.  Several people stated that they would prefer no stocking at all rather than put in triploids, because they were worried about these fish surviving through the winter months and feeding on wild trout eggs and fry.  We are therefore lobbying with colleagues from the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust and other organisations for more research and monitoring of triploids to fill in the knowledge gaps.

 

 

 

Kill or Release?

 

One of our supplementary questions to members was, why not adopt catch & release and so cut back on stocking any hatchery reared fish?  This has been successful in many areas, especially when part of a habitat restoration programme.  Indeed, we know of one fishery which has stocked for several years with eyed ova, at the same time as adopting catch & release and extensive river restoration.  A recent genetic survey showed only one of the 60 fish sampled as being of hatchery origin, and therefore the realisation that reduced angler exploitation and habitat work had produced a healthy wild population which did not require supportive stocking.

 

However, some fishermen still want to take a few fish away to eat during the season, and so, where this is the norm, supportive stocking is essential to protect wild populations.  It is some of these who were worried about what impact the surviving triploids would have in winter.

 

 

 

Man-made Stressors

 

The vast majority of responses to the questionnaire named man-made environmental stressors as the biggest threat to wild trout, including:

 

·         excessive water abstraction

 

·         diffuse pollution and sedimentation from poor land management

 

·         Inappropriately sited hydropower schemes

 

·         Fish passage

 

·         Angling over-exploitation

 

 

 

These bullet points show that the issues of greatest concern to members are those which S&TA is covering within our priority work in England and Wales.  And our biggest worry is that the Environment Agency, so short of resources in the present bleak economic environment, will rely on the compulsory stocking of  triploids as the main protection for wild fish.

 

However, more than 30 responses suggested that wild trout were thriving in their rivers, so it was not all gloom…

 

Note:  A longer version of these questionnaire results will appear in the autumn edition of Gamefisher magazine.

 

 

 

Wanted: Anglers who can explain the benefits of recreational fishing for salmon

 

Is salmon angling largely about the challenge of catching a trophy fish – or is there more to it than that? Salmon angling also provides economic benefits to communities, but does it have any other positive contributions to make?

These are questions being asked by a Big Lottery-funded research project, The Social and Community Benefits of Angling (www.anglingresearch.org.uk). Dr Paul Stolk, one of the project researchers, wants to interview recreational salmon anglers about their fishing experiences.

Your help is vital. Interviews are short (no more than 30 minutes) and can be conducted by either telephone or email. All data is kept anonymous and you will be contributing to research that is influencing recreational fishing policy and practice in the UK.

To participate, send your preferred contact details (email address or phone number) to Dr Stolk, (0161 244 5444). Interview participants will be given a list of question topics and a suitable date and time for interview will be arranged.

 

If you want to contribute but would prefer not to be interviewed, you can always post a comment on the project website (click here).


 

Membership Drive

 

Do you have a friend – or friends! – who isn’t/aren’t a member(s) of the S&TA but who you think really should be?  Please encourage your friends and acquaintances to do their bit by joining the Salmon & Trout Association – why not forward this E-Newsletter to your contacts list, and ask them to visit our web site?  Also, if you haven’t already signed up to Gift Aid your own subscription or donation, please do so – click here.


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Salmon & Trout Association

E-Newsletter

Hydropower Consultation – August 2011

DOES A  PROPOSED HYDROPOWER  SCHEME CONCERN YOU?

THEN ACT NOW AND MAKE YOUR CONCERNS COUNT

Are you worried that the cumulative effects of multiple hydro schemes in one catchment have not been sufficiently considered? Has sufficient protection been given to ensure schemes will not adversely impact fish populations? Should a fish passage be paid for by the developer? These are some of the important considerations highlighted by the S&TA to help members respond to the Hydropower Good Practice Guidelines Consultation.

The consultation ends on 23rd September.  IT IS VITAL, if a hydropower scheme is proposed/planned on a river you fish, own, or care about, that you register your concerns before that date.  Evidence is key!   Please take the time to go here and respond.   The S&TA/AT crib sheet is designed, along with your experience of hydropower schemes on your local rivers, to help you with your response.   If you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact S&TA’s Head of Science, with your queries.  To see the crib sheet click here.

A new hydropower scheme on any river has the potential to create irreparable damage to the aquatic environment UNLESS it is properly  designed and constructed as part of an overall catchment management plan, taking into account cumulative effects of multiple hydro installations.  This is your opportunity to ensure that all necessary precautions are put in place first to protect our fragile aquatic eco-systems.  

Please don’t delay!

Please circulate this notice to friends and colleagues who are interested in the hydropower issue and who may have evidence to contribute to the consultation  Forward to a friend

 

www.salmon-trout.org

Salmon & Trout Association

E-Newsletter

June 2011

 

Contents

1.Greenlandic demonstration at NASCO Meeting

2.Aquaculture at NASCO

3.New S&TA Trustees

4.Game Fair volunteers needed

5.Natural Environment White Paper published

6.Hydropower

7.Recruit a Member

Greenlandic demonstration at NASCO Meeting

Greenlandic fishermen held a demonstration outside the hotel hosting the 28th North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO) meeting, held at the beginning of June in Ilulissat, Western Greenland.They were demanding that they be given a new commercial quota to catch and sell salmon abroad, so taking advantage of what they consider to be a return to abundance of fish off the West Greenland coast, and rising global prices for wild salmon which they cannot attain in their home markets.There was sympathy for their position, but a quota is still, thankfully, a long way off.

Aquaculture at NASCO

Norway, strongly supported by Canada and only slightly less so by the EU (representing Scotland), appealed for aquaculture to be downgraded at NASCO, despite acceptance in Norway that lice and escapes emanating from salmon farms posed the greatest risks to wild salmon and sea trout.At the Aquaculture Special Session,a report was presented summarising the reviews of each country’s policy on aquaculture.The main headlines were depressing:

·Few countries had action plans for effective containment of fish within farm cages

·Little consideration was shown for the health of wild salmonids

·There was little evidence of actions (over words/plans)

·There was a lack of scientific evidence of impact at the farm scale

The NGOs gave a robust counter to the Norwegian approach, reiterating that NASCO requires more, not less, teeth in holding parties to account for policies which impact wild salmonids.Meanwhile, S&TA is continuing with its Aquaculture Campaign in the UK, where the present focus is on the consumer and retail end of the chain, and the certification process supporting wild fish.Our ultimate aim is the biological barrier between farmed and wild fish in all locations, and that, we believe, is only achievable in closed containment units.Our priority remains to convinve Government and industry of that fact.

S&TA CEO, Paul Knight, chaired the NGOs at NASCO this year.Read the full report here.

New S&TA Trustees

At the Association’s Company AGM on June 20th, three new Trustees were appointed.Two are from Scotland;Hughie Campbell Adamson, a proprietor on the North Esk and, until recently, Chairman of the Association of Salmon Fishery Boards, with a breadth of experience in Scottish fisheries management and policy; and Allan Marson, recently retired from a highly responsible position in international banking, so bringing a strong business background to the Association’s governance.Hughie lives in Angus and Allan in Edinburgh.

The third new Trustee, Ian Coghill, is Chairman of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), and his appointment further cements the close collaboration on which we have embarked with GWCT.S&TA’s Chairman, James Carr, has also been appointed a Trustee of GWCT.

Game Fair volunteers needed!

The CLA Game Fair is being held at Blenheim Palace this year from July 22nd to 24th.As usual, we need S&TA volunteers to help us run the Casting Competitions and Championships and Clinics, so if you are able to help, please contact Philip Wellesley-Davies on 0118 972 2921 (home), 07970 848534 (mobile) or philipwd@hotmail.com – a free entrance ticket and food voucher will be given to each volunteer, in return for half a day’s help, allowing the rest of the time to walk round the showground.

Natural Environment White Paper published

The Government’s Natural Environment White Paper was published at the beginning of June and, although we had been led to expect that major fisheries issues would be highlighted in the document, we have, once again, been left disappointed by the finished article.For example, although the Government is spending significant funds on easing access for fish migration in rivers as part of Water Framework Directive (WFD) delivery, there is nothing about increasing connectivity of rivers in the White Paper, even though connecting terrestrial habitat is included.Yet again, therefore, the aquatic environment, its fish and other dependent species get a raw deal.

With colleagues from Atlantic Salmon Trust, the Angling Trust, the Association of Rivers Trusts and the Wild Trout Trust, we have written to Natural Environment and Fisheries Minister, Richard Benyon, for a meeting to discuss the issue.

Hydropower

S&TA is currently involved on the working group agreeing the consultation document for the rewrite of the Hydropower Best practice Guidelines.Janina Gray is representing S&TA as the fisheries scientific/technical specialist.The consultation is due shortly, and we will then ensure that as many game fishing interests as possible respond – we will provide a crib sheet of the main issues to address.

Membership

Do you have a friend – or friends! – who isn’t/aren’t a member(s) of the S&TA but who you think really should be?  Please encourage your friends and acquaintances to do their bit by joining the Salmon & Trout Association – why not forward this E-Newsletter to your contacts list, and ask them to visit our web site?Also, if you haven’t already signed up to Gift Aid your own subscription or donation, please do so – click here.

 

www.salmon-trout.org

Salmon & Trout Association

E-Newsletter

January 2011

Chinese Deal for Scottish Farmed Salmon

The Scottish Government’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, recently declared that the Scottish fish farming industry may need to double its production of salmon to satisfy Chinese demand, following the signing of a new trade deal.S&TA believes this could spell further disaster for Scotland’s iconic and endangered West Highland wild salmon and sea trout stocks, and it is surely premature and irresponsible of the First Minister to signal such an enormous increase in farmed salmon production before the Scottish Government and fish farming industry have addressed their dire existing problems caused by fish farming.

This statement was particularly alarming in the light of public comments made at the Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland Conference last March by a leading Government scientist, that the industry may well have reached its natural capacity, due mainly to the inability to control sea lice and disease in fish farms.

Guy Linley-Adams, the environmental lawyer leading our Aquaculture Campaign, suggested that, for the First Minister to advocate doubling the industry’s output without apparently any prior consideration of his legal obligations towards the conservation of wild fish and the impact on the environment, merely demonstrated a lack of understanding and commitment within the Scottish Government towards protecting these valuable and iconic natural resources.

However, there was support for our stance from UK Fisheries Minister, Richard Benyon, who was quoted as agreeing that fish farming had adversely impacted wild fish stocks.We can only hope for a similarly honest approach from the Scottish Government and the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Association.

Meanwhile, the campaign continues, and Guy is presently in Norway meeting various high level officials to discuss the difference in approach to fish farming legislation and regulation between Norway and Scotland.While Norway certainly still has a long way to go before it stops the impact its fish farming industry is having on wild fish, Scotland is way behind even them.We will report on Guy’s trip in the next E-Newsletter.

 

Mixed Stock Netting

Meanwhile, we are still awaiting a response from the Scottish Government to the Mixed Stock Fisheries Working Group Report, which was promised as long ago as September.Again, a meeting with colleagues in Scotland over our future policy with this issue is imminent, but suffice to say it falls into the same category as aquaculture – a demonstrable refusal to any political commitment to protect wild salmon and sea trout if that means upsetting anyone in the fish farming or netting industries.

2011 promises to be a lively year over both these vital issues.

 

Environment Agency boast our rivers have never been cleaner!

In England, the Environment Agency produced a press release over the New Year claiming that out rivers had never been cleaner, citing, amongst other evidence, the salmon and sea trout running back into the Tyne, Thames, Mersey and Trent.What the Agency failed to say was that nearly 75% of rivers failed to reach good ecological status under the criteria set down by the Water Framework Directive (WFD), many of those because of their fish stocks.S&TA was involved in a virulent public riposte to the EA’s claims, alongside colleagues from the Blueprint for Water team.We were able to show that, by their own records, several high profile salmon and sea trout rivers were showing declining trends – Hampshire Avon, Wye, Usk, Teifi, Lyn, Coquet etc – and wild brown populations have been severely impacted in many areas by habitat degradation and excessive water abstraction.Our joint statement also suggested that the EA’s boast of stocking hundreds of thousands of coarse fish into rivers merely showed the parlous state of wild coarse fish stocks!

A joint press release resulted in a Sunday Times article on Sunday January 16th, in which our Head of Science, Janina Gray, was quoted as the fisheries representative refuting the over-zealous claims about the state of our salmon stocks.

 

Vice Chair of Wildlife & Countryside Water Group

S&TA is very proud that Janina Gray has been elected Vice Chair of Link’s Water Group.Along with the fact that Janina led on two of the recent rewrites of the Blueprint for Water, this shows how far fisheries have come in the last few years, and S&TA particularly since we achieved charitable status.This is an important time for the water environment, with the Government’s Environment White Paper coming up for consultation this year, giving fisheries a vital opportunity to influence the major issues influencing our rivers, lakes and their fish stocks.And don’t forget that our environmental work is critical for ALL fish species, not just salmon and sea trout.Wild brown trout habitat is under threat in many rivers, and, as discussed below, stillwaters are also impacted by many environmental issues, as, of course, are coarse fish as well.

 

Stillwater Fly Life and Water Quality

We have already been approached by the anglers on one large English reservoir to help them look into the severe decline over recent years in their fly life.Apparently, even chironomids, the ‘buzzers’ so favoured by stillwater trout, are suffering.We have also been contacted by a member whose local stillwater has been heavily impacted by excessive nutrient introductions, resulting in heavy algal blooms and a visible drop in water quality.Indeed, many stillwaters experienced poor water and excessive blooms last year.

We would be very interested to hear from other significantly-sized stillwaters with similar problems.One of the least understood issues around the WFD delivery, and water management generally, is that stillwaters are affected every bit as much as rivers by stressors leading to poor water quality, and these need addressing just the same as our flowing waters – especially as stillwaters cannot flush away contaminants as rivers do.Please contact us on hq@salmon-trout.org

 

Annual Fund Raising Dinner

A date for your diaries is the Annual Fund Raising Dinner at Fishmongers’ Hall on Thursday October 6th.The 2010 dinner was a huge success, raising over £26,000 and giving everyone present a memorable evening.We are taking bookings already for tables and individual tickets for this year’s event, so please contact hq@salmon-trout.org to book your seats.

Meanwhile, members were extremely generous with donating auction lots last year.If you have any lots which you feel you might donate towards our work, please contact us – your support will be much appreciated, whether it be fishing, pictures, rare books or, particularly, something that might appeal to the wives/husbands and girlfriends/boyfriends who attend in large numbers and are not necessarily fisherfolk themselves!

 

Membership

As always, we much appreciate the members who strive to sign up friends who are not already contributing to the Association.It goes without saying that if every member signed up just one new recruit, we would very quickly double in size and influence.Please direct potential new recruits to the web site www.salmon-trout.org and follow the links to our membership pages.

www.salmon-trout.org

17/12/10

Salmon & Trout Association

E-Newsletter

Christmas 2010

A very Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year to all our Members and Supporters!

In the interests of saving the planet, we are not sending Christmas Cards this year!  However, the Chairman, Trustees, Chief Executive and all the staff wish our members, sponsors, donors and all other supporters a very happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

Thanks!

At the same time, we would like to thank you all for your help during the past year.  With the continued support of members and the generosity of donors, we have been able to undertake more work during 2010 than we had planned, especially concerning the salmon farming issue on the Scottish West Coast and Islands (see below).

So, S&TA goes into 2010 in good heart.  As ever, though, and in line with many other charities in our depressed economy, we need more members.  You can increase your support for us by convincing a non-member relative or friend that they should join the Association or, consider giving them membership as a gift.  For membership details, please click here

Aquaculture

You will have seen our recent press release uncovering information gleaned by Guy Linley-Adams, our solicitor instructed on the aquaculture campaign. He obtained correspondence from Marine Scotland under freedom of information laws, more specifically the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 that relates to a decision made by the Scottish Government earlier this year to reverse an earlier commitment to publish salmon farm sea lice and containment audits on-line. In a formal decision relating to fishfarming in Lochs Awe and Etive, the Scottish Information Commissioner had previously decided that such audits should be made public.

The Scottish Government seems to have caved in to threats from the fish farming industry that if details of the farm lice and containment audits conducted by Marine Scotland were made public, the Government could be sued by the farmers for loss of business.

It is not only that the audits are not to be published. In response to the Salmon & Trout Association’s aquaculture Petition, the Minister confirmed to the Scottish Parliament’s Petitions Committee that no such audits have been carried out on farms since March this year.

There is far more evidence of poor performance in the industry emerging from Guy’s investigations, so brace yourself for more revelations next year!  This is not just us trying to embarrass the Government for the fun of it. This is one part of a strategy to pressurise the Government to better regulate the industry, to show a tougher response to those failing farms, for both Government and industry to end the unwarranted secrecy that surrounds farmed fish lice counts and other such data, and for the industry as a whole to farm in a manner that does not harm wild fish.  Inevitably, this will not be possible until some farms relocate from sensitive sites near wild salmon and sea trout migration routes, so there is much work still to be done over the coming years.  More reason for you to keep supporting us!

Meanwhile, you will probably have heard of the Shetland farm which controversially killed fish back in August while treating for lice.  A small insight into the way that some parts of the industry operate is that the illegal treatment used was a product licensed for use on sheep and not on farmed salmon.  The illegal treatment involved the same active ingredient – cypermethrin – that used to be used in sheep dips which S&TA, with colleagues from other fisheries NGOs, managed to get banned from the UK last year!  Marine Scotland records report that 100 tonnes of salmon were killed.

Finally on aquaculture, the Petitions Committee debated our petition recently. Rather than close it down as we might have expected, the Committee has written again to the Government, basically asking them to answer their original questions a little more meaningfully than they did the first time.  We hope that somewhere in the corridors of Scottish Government, the message will be getting through that this issue is not going away.

And don’t forget to join us on Facebook

S&TA has launched its own Facebook fanpage. If you have a Facebook account, you can now keep up to date with all the S&TA news and latest work on our fanpage. Just visit our website and click on the facebook icon. If you do not have an account but are interested in joining facebook, simply go to www.facebook.com and fill in your details and then click ‘sign up’!  It is free and simple.  Once your account has been set up, you will be prompted on how to add details, find friends and load photos.

Office Closure Dates

The office will be closed from Thursday December 23rd and reopen on Tuesday January 4th.

That’s it for 2010!

Many thanks again for your support, have a great Christmas and New Year, and back to tackling all these issues again in January!

www.salmon-trout.org

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26/11/10

 

NEWS RELEASE

26 November 2010

Gagging of Scottish Government by salmon farmers exposed; FOI shows how authorities capitulated after threat of legal action

A series of Freedom of Information requests on behalf of the Salmon and Trout Association (S&TA) has exposed how the Scottish Government made a policy u-turn in the face of pressure, including the threat of legal action, from the salmon farming industry. In March Marine Scotland informed the industry that it would be publishing details online of certain inspection reports on salmon farms relating in particular to sea lice infestations and fish escapes, carried out under the terms of the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act – given a ruling by the Scottish Information Commissioner that such information should be in the public domain.

The industry’s trade body, the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO), responded threatening Marine Scotland with legal action if any company’s business was “compromised” as a consequence. Marine Scotland then announced that it was “suspending the publication plan” and reviewing the situation in light of the issues raised by SSPO. In October Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham confirmed that no audits or inspections of fish farms had taken place since March 2010.

Guy Linley-Adams, the lawyer tasked with spearheading S&TA’s campaign to protect wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout from the negative impacts of aquaculture, commented: “The threat by the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation to bring claims for damages against Marine Scotland over publication of enforcement audits is, in my experience, unprecedented. On the one hand it shows just how confident the salmon growers are of their position in Scotland with respect to central government. On the other it is a clear indication of just how impotent the authorities are in the face of the salmon farmers’ bullying tactics.”

Paul Knight, S&TA CEO, said: “This saga gives the lie to Scottish Government’s contention that the salmon farming industry is properly and effectively regulated. It now appears that the industry is calling the tune and consequently there must be fundamental questions over the credibility of Scottish Government’s aquaculture policy and, indeed, its commitment to protecting wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout, two of Scotland’s iconic natural resources.”

Prominent amongst salmon farming companies opposing the publication of inspection reports in March was Loch Duart Ltd, which brands itself as the “Sustainable Salmon Company”. Loch Duart admitted to an escape of 4,000 farmed salmon from its Loch Laxford site in early November.

Mr Linley-Adams added: “Loch Duart is a prime example of why Marine Scotland’s inspection reports should indeed be in the public domain. The company has an abysmal record on fish escapes and is reported to have lost almost 60,000 in eight separate incidents in the last ten years. Perhaps it is understandable why it so keen to suppress certain inspection reports on its farms.”

ENDS

Issued on behalf of the Salmon & Trout Association by Andrew Graham-Stewart (01863 766767 or 07812 981531). For further information contact Guy Linley-Adams on 01432 379093 or 07837 881219.

Extracts from correspondence between Marine Scotland and the salmon farmers (obtained under FOI)

From Neil Purvis, Fish Health Inspectorate Policy Manager, Marine Scotland to stakeholders (salmon farmers), 25 March 2010: “Since November 2008, the Fish Health Inspectorate has implemented a programme of audits in relation to the parasite (sea lice) and containment provisions of the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act 2007….This letter is to inform you that Marine Scotland will be publishing a summary of audit findings on our website www.frs-scotland.gov.uk and this page will be updated periodically as audits are conducted. The intention to publish this information has been made previously through meetings of the Ministerial Working Group for Scottish Aquaculture. In addition to a summary publication, if third party applications for the full details of audits are made then this information may be released.”

From Phil Thomas, Chairman of the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation, to Rob Raynard (Director of the Aquaculture and Fish Health Programme within Marine Scotland Science) and Charles Allan (Head of the Fish Health Inspectorate within Marine Scotland Science), 30 March 2010: “If a company’s business is compromised, or if it loses business as a result of an MSS ‘audit’, there is every possibility it could seek legal redress on the grounds that the ‘audit’ is ‘not competent under statute’ or ‘not-accredited and is carried out by staff who are not qualified auditors’. Similarly, if you release audit information that contains any error, there is every prospect that a company will seek legal redress through the courts for material damage to its business.”

From Rob Raynard (Director of the Aquaculture and Fish Health Programme within Marine Scotland Science) to Phil Thomas, Chairman of the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation, 9 April 2010: “The Scottish Information Commissioner has deemed that we do not have grounds to withhold information or the names of businesses where such information is generated under statute……..However, in light of the other issues that you raise we are suspending the publication plan until we have had the opportunity to fully investigate these and to consider with SG policy colleagues in Edinburgh.”

From Loch Duart Ltd to Neil Purvis (Marine Scotland Science), 30 March 2010: “Loch Duart Ltd does not agree to its audits being placed on the website….Inaccurate critical reports could destroy a company or its business and in such a case, what would the legal position be? We require a full and frank response to how a company might achieve financial redress before this proposal is brought to fruition.”

Note to Editors

1) The Salmon & Trout Association (S&TA) was established in 1903 to address the damage done to our rivers by the polluting effects of the Industrial Revolution.  For 107 years, the Association has worked to protect fisheries, fish stocks and the wider aquatic environment on behalf of game angling and fisheries. In 2008 it was granted charitable status.  S&TA’s charitable objectives empower it to address all issues affecting fish and the aquatic environment, supported by strong scientific evidence from its scientific network.  Its charitable status enables it to take the widest possible remit in protecting salmonid fish stocks, and the aquatic environment upon which they depend. For further information visit www.salmon-trout.org

2) S&TA recently engaged Guy Linley-Adams, a dedicated campaigner and lawyer, to focus solely on just one key issue: to move the fish farming industry towards environmental sustainability. The priority targets for the campaign are be the relocation of those existing fish farm sites identified in areas sensitive for wild fish and the removal of all smolt cage units from river systems containing wild salmon populations. Guy is a practising solicitor qualified in England and Scotland, specialising in environmental, water, fisheries and freedom of information law. Guy has had a number of successes with the Scottish Information Commissioner in securing disclosure of official information on fish farming, including inspection reports and audits relating to escapes on Lochs Lochy, Etive and Awe.

Salmon and Trout Association

Fishmongers’ Hall

London Bridge

London

EC4R 9EL

www.salmon-trout.org