THE TIMES (OF LONDON, UK)
No salmon in rivers ‘due to climate change’
November 26 2018
The Scottish salmon industry is in crisis because of global warming, academics say.
Beats on rivers including the Spey and the Nith have failed to record a single caught salmon during this year’s angling season.
Rising temperatures have hit feeding grounds and migration, the Sunday Post reported, while smolts were also being threatened by a sea lice infection.
“Absolutely there’s a crisis in salmon fishing,” said Ken Whelan, of the Atlantic Salmon Trust. “You’re looking at very modest numbers of fish coming back and you can’t afford to lose any from any kind of man-made effects. Nobody knows exactly how steep the decline is going to be here but it’s been extraordinarily steep over the past two or three decades.”
No salmon catches were reported on the Upper Arndilly beat on the Spey this year, compared with 52 in 2017 and 180 in 2016, according to Fishpal, the online booking agency. The River Nith’s Blackwood beat failed to produce any catches despite a five-year average of 32, while there were 33 salmon caught on the Tweed’s Traquair beat in 2018, from 265 in 2013.
A spokesman for Loch Duart, 30 per cent of whose stock perished in September, blamed plankton, algal blooms and climate change for depleting oxygen levels.
“Changing seawater temperatures are now producing challenges such as this that did not exist previously,” he said.