Key groups gather for wild salmon discussion

The ‘Wild Salmon Without Borders’ event, part of this year’s 19th International Experience the World of Fly Fishing (EWF) fly fishing show in Germany successfully brought together key individuals and organisations from across Europe to motivate a renewed focus on international collaboration for wild Atlantic salmon restoration.

The Atlantic Salmon Trust, together with EWF show organisers, worked together to create and host the event in mid-April.

Expert speakers from across Europe included representatives from the Atlantic Salmon Trust, Missing Salmon Alliance, North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF), Norske Lakseelver, World Fish Migration Foundation, Fario e.V., Wanderfische ohne Grenzen e.V., Danmarks Centre For Vildlaks,and Patagonia.

This line-up of speakers ensured that wild Atlantic salmon representation came from a range of countries, including Iceland, Norway, Spain, Germany, United Kingdom, Denmark, France, and Ireland, with speakers highlighting a variety of issues affecting wild Atlantic salmon.

These included the dangers and risks posed by open net pen salmon farming, red skin disease, and barriers to migration. However the event sought not to dwell on the many problems facing wild Atlantic salmon, but to create a platform to offer positive solutions with which we can move forward.

This included sharing habitat restoration case studies, successful barrier removal campaigns, the success story of the restoration of the River Skjern in Denmark, as well as how to successfully raise public awareness against unsustainable open pen salmon farming practices.

Several short films were shown at the event, aiming to highlight the cultural importance of wild Atlantic salmon. These included the French animated film ‘Salmo’ by Paul Pajot, British animated film ‘Wild Summon’ by Karni Arieli and Saul Freed which was nominated for a BAFTA and shortlisted for an Oscar, and Patagonia’s latest film ‘Laxaþjóð | A Salmon Nation’ which tells the story of growing opposition to open pen salmon farming in Iceland.

Through the newly forged international links and relationships between individuals and organisations across Europe, initial collaborations have already been planned. The aim of the symposium to promote greater cross-border co-operation and action for the recovery and restoration of wild Atlantic salmon stocks was achieved.


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