Angling Trust launches manifesto in parliament to protect Atlantic salmon

The Angling Trust took the plight of Atlantic salmon to the heart of parliament today (31st January) with the launch of a Salmon Angling Manifesto for England and Wales.

The launch, attended by the fisheries minister, Mark Spencer MP, called for a more coordinated approach from both the Westminster and Welsh governments to protect salmon and to take action to support their recovery.

Speaking at the launch in parliament, Mark Owen, Head of Fisheries at the Angling Trust, said:

“Governments often talk about the need to protect our environment and to look after nature.  None more so than this one, who have reaffirmed, only today, their desire in the words of the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to ‘achieve our target of not just halting, but reversing the decline of nature’.

“There could not be a more pressing need to see these words put into action than with salmon.  Their decline in recent years has been dramatic, only one river in England is not classed as being either ‘at risk’ or ‘probably at risk’ for salmon.  Local extinctions are a real possibility.

“With the government’s new Environmental Improvement Plan, and with the biodiversity and water quality targets established under the Environment Act underpinning the government’s plans for nature, this manifesto sets out the actions needed to give salmon a future in the rivers of England and Wales.”

The manifesto calls for a series of measures to deliver a thriving, productive, and expanding salmon angling sector, with its associated environmental, social, and economic benefits.  They include:

  • A renewed focus on delivering an updated and fully funded Environment Agency Salmon Five Point Approach (a cross government plan) and Natural Resource Wales Salmon and Sea Trout Plan of Action with a clear timetable for action based on catchment-based delivery.
  • Targeted action to mitigate and allow salmon to adapt to the impact of climate change.
  • Greater protection in our estuaries and coastal waters from exploitation.
  • Greater stakeholder engagement in the management of salmon angling.
  • An end to restrictive byelaws and the promotion of voluntary measures.
  • Effective stock assessments and transparency of data.
  • Effective management of predation.
  • Tackling the scourge of aquaculture.
  • Effective management of all river users.
  • Maximise the socio-economic benefits of salmon angling.

Our vision is a thriving, healthy and expanding population of Atlantic salmon in the rivers of England and Wales with responsible agencies properly funded to support the conservation and economic benefits of rivers alive with salmon.

You can download and read the manifesto here.

Fisheries Minister Mark Spencer with Angling Trust’s Stephen Beverley (left) and Mark Owen at the launch of the Salmon Angling Manifesto

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