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A coordinated approach towards development of a scientific basis for management of wild Atlantic salmon in the North-East Atlantic

This proposal seeks to advance the scientific basis upon which advice is given to managers of local, national and international salmon fisheries, compatible with the precautionary approach, as adopted by all signatories (including the European Union) to the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation 1998 Accord on salmon management. Experts in salmon biology and fishery modelling will carry out concerted action to improve the setting of salmon conservation limits, while addressing transportability and dynamic change issues, and taking account of underlying stock structures. Work will also be carried out to develop more reliable estimates of pre-fishery abundance (PFA) for north-eastern Atlantic salmon stocks and to develop predictive PFA estimates that can be used to advise on catch options.

The objectives of this project are:
1) to examine and agree on the definitions and principles involved in the use of biological reference points in salmon management
2) to review the quality of relevant data existing in national laboratories/databases and determine whether additions/improvements are necessary
3) to review and evaluate progress in individual countries towards setting river-specific or regional conservation limits
4) to review and evaluate progress towards establishing national and international conservation limits, and how they can be used in developing ICES advice for the management of fisheries
5) to examine methods for interpreting the stock/recruitment data upon which conservation limits can be based. To explore the use of new datasets (e.g. catch time series) and to investigate the effects of dynamic change in both the stock and the habitat
6) to evaluate currently available habitat assessment methods in order to assess our ability to transport stock/recruitment relationships between rivers and to examine the uncertainty inherent in these extrapolations. To evaluate new technologies (e.g. GIS) that may assist this process
7) to review the model currently being used to estimate pre-fishery abundance at an international level and to investigate means for the independent validation of PFA estimates, as well as to examine the sensitivity of the PFA model to variability in input parameters
8) to review the options for developing PFA forecast models and to determine the most appropriate stock groupings for use in international management
9) to examine the role of risk assessment and to investigate the uncertainties in the use of these models for management advice; to determine the biological and fishery implications of these uncertainties
10) to evaluate alternative management approaches and their associated risks compared with the approach currently being developed
11) to provide recommendations for further collaborative R&D in these areas and to trigger new bids for shared-cost project funding (particularly in model development).

Decisions on whether present interim methods will support development, or whether alternative approaches should be developed.
Satisfactory method of setting and transporting conservation limits.
Reliable estimates of salmon pre-fishery stocks in NE Atlantic.


Scientist responsible for the project

Newforge Lane
BT9 5PX Belfast
United Kingdom (The) - GB

Phone: +44 2890 255505


Project ID QLRT-1999-01546
Organisation The Queen's University of Belfast, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Division
Area 5.1.2
Start date 01 February 2000
Duration (months) 36
Total cost 990 040 €
Total EC contribution   751 781 €
Status Ongoing

The partners

  • Institut national de la recherche agronomique, France - FR

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