Salmon Scotland’s wild fish fund invites proposals

Applications open tomorrow for grants from the Wild Fisheries Fund, supported by Salmon Scotland.

The fund, backed by Scotland’s salmon farming industry, has £145,000 to spend for this year’s grant allocations, as part of a total commitment of £1.5m over five years.

In December the Wild Salmonid Support Fund, which had been launched in 2021, was rebranded as the Wild Fisheries Fund with an expanded remit. The revamped fund will prioritise applications of a practical nature which aim to protect and enhance wild salmon populations and local angling opportunities.

Projects which receive grants will aim to stem the decades-long decline in wild fish numbers through habitat protection, protection from predators, and restocking programmes.
Habitat loss and rising river temperatures primarily due to climate change have impacted on wild salmon and sea trout populations throughout the UK and all over the Scottish coastline.

This year, money will be available to a broad range of organisations and projects in Scotland’s aquaculture zone, including local angling clubs, fishery boards and other community associations.

More than £190,000 has already been invested since 2021 in restoration projects to reduce riverbank erosion and measures to provide tree canopy and in-stream cover for young salmon.

The new fund will be open for applications on February 1 and the closing date will be March 31, with decisions on grants taken by Salmon Scotland in April.

It will be co-ordinated by Fishery Manager Jon Gibb, who is based in Fort William and has championed a constructive relationship between the farm-raised salmon sector and fisheries and angling groups.

Gibb said: “I have worked on Scotland’s salmon rivers for more years than I care to remember.

“There have always been good and bad years, but what we are seeing is a species on the brink of extinction in some places – it’s that simple.

“Wild salmon are in deep, deep crisis and the aquaculture sector can play a vital role in stemming the worst of their precipitous decline.

“The Scottish farm-raised salmon sector has reached out with the offer of help to the wild fishing community, and it is my sincere wish that both managers and anglers up and down the west coast rise to the challenge and use this welcome and timely funding to save the future of the king of fish.”

Fuerther information on the Fund and how to apply for grants can be found at www.salmonscotland.co.uk/wildfisheriesfund

Author

Keep up with us

Posted in ,
Fish Farmer magazine June 2024 cover

The June 2024 issue of Fish Farmer magazine is out now online