Malcolm Windsor To Give Buckland Lectures

The Trustees of the Buckland Foundation are very pleased that Dr Malcolm Windsor, the former Secretary of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO), has accepted their invitation to be the 2014 Buckland Professor.

His three Buckland Lectures, entitled Species without Borders : a case study in Atlantic salmon management, will be given at the following venues :

Edinburgh : Lecture Theatre 175, Old College, University of Edinburgh at 18.00 on 8 October.

London : Read Lecture Theatre, Sherfield Building, Imperial College at 17.00 on 16 October.

Dublin : George Moore Auditorium, O'Brien Centre, University College Dublin at 17.30 on 29 October. More Info

You and your colleagues will be welcome to attend Dr Windsor's Buckland Lecture at any of the above venues.

The BUCKLAND LECTURE has been given most years since 1930. For a list of presenters and their topics, click here

The Trustees are aware that there may be interest in the Lecture from those unable to attend, and the Clerk to the Buckland Foundation will be pleased to help those make contact with Dr Windsor.


Malcolm Windsor has dedicated almost thirty years to setting up and then running NASCO, an International Treaty Organization which exists to conserve the North Atlantic salmon, most certainly a species without borders. He first worked in the chocolate industry but then at the University of Bristol and at the University of California (UCLA) he worked as a physical chemist on intermolecular forces. He returned to the UK and switched to fisheries food research for some years before moving to scientific policy work by joining the Chief Scientists Group in London, (in what is now DEFRA). There his task was to advise on what fisheries and marine environmental research should be commissioned by the UK government at its own institutes and at Research Councils and Universities. He was Secretary of NASCO for almost thirty years and was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for this work. He has recently carried out a review of the outcomes of EU - New Zealand cooperation on research and innovation.


Managing species without borders, like migratory fish, is today mostly done by means of international treaties or agreements.

These treaties inevitably involve nations with different perspectives on the resource and different degrees of dependence on them. Negotiations in these international forums usually start out with the science and the advice that the scientists offer. But then the process ascends, or descends, into a complex mixture of politics (both international and domestic), marine and freshwater environments and socio-economic factors. Into this mix will be added the, (sometimes valuable sometimes not), influence of pressure groups e.g. NGOs, environmentalists, fishing boat owners and fish farmers. Human factors will also play a major role, the powers of persuasion of the heads of delegations, their familiarity with the subject and their passion for it and, of course, the instructions that they left home with. A complex brew!

How does it work, what are its strengths and its weaknesses?

This talk will focus on the Atlantic salmon which occurs in all North Atlantic countries, it is an iconic species that is held in high public regard because of its vast migrations and its amazing ability to cross trackless oceans and return to exactly where it was born to reproduce. These international journeys do however mean that the salmon can travel through many jurisdictions. Clearly a species like this can only be conserved and managed by international cooperation at Government level using the best scientific advice. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea was not able to resolve issues like this on sharing marine resources. Subsequently, the species got its own Treaty in 1984, the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO) with its HQ in Edinburgh.

It is a case history of international cooperation on one valued species. How did it work, did it succeed, what went right, what went wrong and what is the outcome today after 30 years of the Treaty in operation? This lecture will present a very short introduction to the natural history of the salmon. We will then discuss how the conservation aims actually worked, how the interplay of science, politics, social and economic factors and negotiating skills played out. We will conclude with the situation today and the new threats to the species.