Wild Atlantic salmon are in crisis as the numbers returning to spawning grounds has fallen dramatically and experts fear the species could be lost from many rivers in our lifetime if action is not taken now.
Concerned conservationists claim large salmon have declined by between 54 to 88 per cent whilst smaller salmon (grilse) have declined between 40 and 66 per cent.
The Atlantic Salmon Trust, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, and the Angling Trust, have been joined by the Rivers Trust (RT) and Edinburgh-based Fisheries Management Scotland (FMS) in the Missing Salmon Alliance.
The organisation will collect evidence to lobby national and international decision-makers to regulate activities which impact on the fish.
Dr Alan Wells, CEO of FMS, admitted: “Our wild salmon are reaching crisis point and it is vital that we work in a co-ordinated manner across the UK to help wild salmon survive and thrive in our rivers and seas.
“Our members, working with a range of key stakeholders, are already delivering essential work to protect and enhance salmon in Scotland.
“Through the Missing Salmon Alliance, our collective capacity to address the pressures which wild salmon face will be significantly enhanced.”
And Mark Lloyd, CEO of the RT, stressed: “The decline in wild salmon populations should be of grave concern to everyone and it is a grim indicator of the impact that humans have had on the natural world.”