Attenborough’s ‘Wild Isles’ shines light on salmon

WILDLIFE legend Sir David Attenborough’s Wild Isles television series will shine a light on the plight of Scotland’s wild Atlantic salmon on Sunday.

Attenborough will use his BBC One show to highlight that “there has been a 70% loss in 25 years, and [wild Atlantic] salmon could be extinct in the next two decades”.

Members of campaign group Missing Salmon Alliance are using the run-up to the Wild Isles episode to underline the threats faced by the fish, including “river pollution, parasites, and predation”.

Other threats include “poor water quality, low water quantity, warming water, and manmade barriers such as dams”.

Mark Bilsby, chief executive of the Atlantic Salmon Trust, said: “This remarkable species faces a host of problems wherever they go.

“They need our help to safeguard their future.

“They inform us of much wider issues and we need to listen to them before it’s too late.

“We cannot imagine a world without wild Atlantic salmon in our rivers and that is why we need to do all that we can to take action now.”

Dylan Roberts, head of the Salmon & Trout Research centre at the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, added: “People may see plenty of salmon, at the supermarket fish counter or on restaurant menus, but this is all farmed salmon and thus don’t understand that our wild Atlantic salmon are in such a perilous state.

“Numbers of wild salmon in our rivers are now below sustainable population levels and are really on the brink.”

Read more fishing stories on Scottish Field’s field sports pages.

Plus, don’t miss Michael Wigan’s fishing column in the April issue of Scottish Field magazine.