Norway reopens 16 salmon rivers

Salmon jumping out from water on river background

Norwegian regulators have reopened almost half the rivers that were closed to sports salmon fishing two weeks ago.

The move has been welcomed by anglers and should take some heat out of a situation in which salmon farming companies were being blamed for the collapse in wild salmon stocks.

Sports fishing is an important tourist attraction in Norway, attracting many people from overseas.

The Norwegian Environment Agency yesterday said that 16 of the 33 rivers, mostly in the Trondelag area and south of the country, can open from tomorrow, but it has also laid down some strict conditions.

So far rivers in the north of the country, where there is a great deal of salmon farming, have not been affected, but a close watch is being kept on the region.

The Agency closed the rivers “with a heavy heart” on 23 June, following evidence that wild salmon stocks were showing signs of decline.

Sports fishing groups have put most of the blame on salmon farming, claiming that escaped salmon, often diseased, are mixing with river fish.

But it is being pointed out that rivers in Sweden, and other countries where there is no aquaculture, were also suffering.

Raoul Bierach, head of the Environment Agency’s fishery section said: “A new summary of catch numbers and fish counts shows that there is still a need for extraordinary measures in salmon fishing in the rivers and fjord regions from Trøndelag and southwards.”

Fishing, he added, will be quite limited and with some very strict conditions. The situation will be kept under constant review.

 

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