EU Fish News, 27 Dec 2013: NASCO Research on Marine Mortality of Atlantic Salmon

NASCO Research on Marine Mortality of Atlantic Salmon

27 Dec 2013

A NEW tracking project, organised by NASCO, is being launched in 2014 in a bid to find out why so many salmon around the North Atlantic are failing to return to their rivers of origin.
Under the leadership of Dr Peter Hutchinson, the new Secretary General of NASCO, a multi-national project is being initiated to use a range of new technologies to map salmon migrations and determine where they encounter threats to their survival.

Recent research has highlighted that the salmon is a pelagic species which competes with, is predated by, and predates on other pelagic species at different stages of its growth in salt water. Increasingly, scientists are adopting an ecosystem approach to studying the lives of salmon. By studying the salmon in its environmental context, and with the data generated by new instruments and methods of analysis, it is being found that the wild Atlantic salmon is giving important new data about climate change and its impacts on availability of food in the pelagic zone.
The findings of the new tracking project should help to guide managers towards making conservation interventions in salt water and fresh water where there are opportunities to reduce the mortality of survivors. One such action is accidental by-catch of post smolts by pelagic fishing fleets.

NASCO has appointed a new advisory group on tracking wild Atlantic salmon at sea. The group will work by correspondence or hold a workshop to develop and document a roadmap outlining a large scale international collaborative telemetry project to provide information on migration paths and quantitative estimates of mortality during phases of the marine life-cycle of salmon.

document will:
1. Identify how this project will support the conservation and management of Atlantic salmon stocks (ie what outputs will be produced and how these will improve Atlantic salmon management).
2. Provide an overview of the resources required with provisional costings.
3. Identify key strategic partners for this project.
4. Identify current and proposed telemetry programmes that could be linked with and enhance by the proposed project.

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