Robson Green on the Moray Firth
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Robson Green and Jim Murray highlight work in Moray Firth to conserve salmon

By Kyle Ritchie | Grampian Online

A conservation group’s aim to understand the reasons behind the marked decline in salmon numbers has received the support of British actors Robson Green and Jim Murray.

The two ambassadors for the Missing Salmon Alliance’s member organisation, the Atlantic Salmon Trust, have set out on a road trip across Scotland to highlight the numerous efforts to get to the bottom of the mystery behind Atlantic salmon’s decline.

That decline in wild Atlantic salmon populations has seen their numbers decrease by 70 per cent in the last 25 years.

The issues effect salmon in all stages of their life journey, from the rivers to their time out at sea. As recently as the mid 1960s of salmon departing to their feeding grounds in the North, Celtic and Icelandic seas, a steady 35 per cent could be expected to return. Now, that number is less than three per cent.

Green and Murray’s titular Roadtrip to Discovery, focused on the efforts of both the Moray Firth, and West Coast tracking projects.

These ground-breaking approaches to unravelling the mystery behind salmon’s decline have already found that, in the case of the Moray Firth tracking project, over half of salmon smolts never make it to sea.

The West Coast tracking project, on the other hand, aims to find out what happens to the other half that did.

In the tireless efforts of the charities, volunteers, and universities involved, both Green and Murray found plenty reasons to remain hopeful for salmon’s future and have shared their journey for all to see.

Green said: “It’s a wonderful life affirming story, coming across these extraordinary people. In a way, the work they’re doing reminds me of the salmon’s journey, there’s something working in parallel here. A kind of subtext to this whole experience.

“There are some qualities that salmon have, some characteristics, but there are two that stand out: they have incredible energy, and they have incredible determination.

“The people I’ve come across have extraordinary amounts of energy, putting their time and effort into this species. Not only hoping that it will survive but thrive as well.

“It is going to take time. It’s not going to be easy, but when has anything worthwhile ever been easy?”

In 2019 a group of conservation-focused organisations came together to drive action and save wild Atlantic salmon from extinction by combining expertise, coordinating activities and advocating effective management solutions.

Called the Missing Salmon Alliance, the member organisations are the Atlantic Salmon Trust, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Angling Trust, Fisheries Management Scotland and the Rivers Trust.

Source: The Grampian

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