8th October 2020
Escaped farmed salmon caught on three Cumbria Rivers
Confirmed captures of farmed salmon on three rivers in Cumbria after escaping a site in Scotland
Anglers should report any capture of these farmed fish on the Fisheries Management Scotland reporting system
Environment Agency and Fisheries Management Scotland are working together to advise anglers in England and Scotland
The Environment Agency and Fisheries Management Scotland are warning anglers to be vigilant for the last month of the fishing season following confirmed cases of escaped farmed salmon caught on the River Derwent and the Border Esk.
48,834 fish from the Carradale North site, Mowi farm, escaped after the farm became detached from its seabed anchors during Storm Ellen in the summer. Fisheries Management Scotland have been making efforts to manage and mitigate the escape, however, it has been confirmed that six farmed fish have been caught on the River Ehen, the Border Esk and on the Cumbrian Derwent river with more fish suspected to be in other local rivers.
The Environment Agency and Fisheries Management Scotland are working together to ensure consistent guidance for anglers in England and Scotland and are urging anglers to report any captures on the Fisheries Management Scotland reporting system.
Brian Shields from the Environment Agency, said: “We want to see as many wild fish spawning as possible to benefit future fish generations which is why want to
make sure these farmed fish can be removed from our rivers, within the law, to prevent future damage to the wild stocks.
“We are working closely with Fisheries Management Scotland to co-ordinate the recording of these farmed fish captures, and we are asking anglers to be vigilant to these escaped fish for the last few weeks of the fishing season”.
Fisheries Management Scotland Aquaculture Interactions Manager, Polly Burns, said: “We are happy to be working with the Environment Agency to develop consistent guidance, to avoid any confusion. We are asking anglers in England and on the Border Esk to use the same reporting system anglers are using in Scotland to keep catch records of these farmed fish in one place.
“Farmed fish are most usually distinguishable by damaged fins. If a farmed fish is caught it should be humanely dispatched. Importantly a sample of scales should be taken, which will allow us to confirm that the fish is of farmed origin. Detailed guidance on this process is available on the news pages of the Fisheries Management Scotland website. We feared these fish could turn up further afield and that stresses the importance of anglers being aware wherever they may be fishing on the West coast of the UK.”
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Notes to editors
Information on what to do if you catch a farmed fish: http://fms.scot/wp- content/uploads/2020/08/200825-Aqua-Guidance-on-escapees.pdf
Reporting form for captured farmed fish:
Photo ID guide for Anglers: http://fms.scot/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/200908- Aqua-Guidance-for-Anglers.pdf
Fisheries Management Scotland is the representative body for Scotland’s network of District Salmon Fishery Boards (DSFBs), the River Tweed Commission and Rivers and Fisheries Trusts. We work to promote and ensure the protection, preservation, and development of Scotland’s wild salmon and freshwater fish, along with their fisheries and the wider environment on which they rely. Fisheries Management Scotland contribute to a wide range of workstreams and working groups covering a range of pressures faced by our iconic Atlantic salmon, sea trout and other freshwater fish.
The Ribble Fisheries Consultative Association, formerly the Ribble
Fisheries Association, was founded in 1951, a year which saw the
formation of the River Boards with responsibilities for flood defence,
pollution control and fisheries. A few years previously the Chief
Inspector for Salmon & Freshwater Fisheries had suggested the setting up
of fisheries Consultatives to represent the interests of fisheries
within specified areas – usually river catchments.
In 1986 the Standing Conference of Consultatives was established
under the auspices of the National Anglers’ Council (NAC), and this
Association became a member. In 1991 NAC was dissolved and two
years later the Standing Conference became a self-supporting body known
as the National Association of Fisheries and Angling Consultatives
(NAFAC). This now included Consultatives from all over the country
and was for a time the most rapidly growing angling organisation.
The demise of the over-arching Consutative framework meant that the
collaboration with the E.A. was lost. However, the formation of h
Angling Trust as the national representative body for angling has in
recent years re-established to some degree the national dialogue.
Regrettably the former Lancashire Fisheries Consultative, which dealt
mainly with coarse fishing issues and covered a large part of Cheshire,
also ceased to exist.
Locally the RFCA continued and created excellent partnerships with
the local E.A. and established links with the Angling Trust, the Salmon
& Trout Conservation UK and the Hodder Consultative and the Calder
Group; along with the Ribble Rivers Trust.
Consultatives have no executive powers. Rather, they work in a
variety of ways to influence the “powers that be” in order to ensure
that fisheries and angling are protected and developed. Our
objectives are summed up as follows:
“To safeguard and promote the interests of owners, lessees of
fishing, and anglers, by developing sustainable fisheries and maximising
the riverine environment through consultation with the environment
Agency and other bodies with similar aims and objectives.”
As a body, we do not own any fishing, but our members are drawn from
individuals, a large number of clubs, Associations, and riparian owners
within the Ribble Catchment.
By working together we seek to achieve our objectives. However,
insufficient funding through “Grant in Aid” to the Environment Agency
Fisheries function has made “self help” necessary. Without it our
fisheries would be very seriously under threat. All anglers have
an obligation to help in any way they can in order to ensure the
long-term future of angling.