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May 03 2010

Salmon & Trout Association – newsletter

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Canada is not the only country struggling with wild fish decline. I have posted some references from the April newsletter that outline some of the same issues noted on the Lumby Salmon Trail signs.

British Newsletter from the Salmon & Trout Association
…We need the new Government to manage the aquatic environment by adopting integrated policies for individual catchments involving water resources/abstraction, water quality, flood risk management (using natural processes), delivery etc… This will require a culture change, using partnerships with third party organizations such as rivers trusts, wildlife trusts, fisheries associations, angling clubs etc.

We highlight below issues that should be included :
● Changes to farming practice to protect rivers and streams from soil run-off, agri-chemicals and other pollutants, using modifications to CAP and agri-environment schemes to compensate farmers for protecting fragile river systems. Food security is important, but must not be at the expense of the environment;

● Measures to reduce other forms of pollution, such as the removal of phosphates from commercial detergents, diverting road run-off and urban storm drainage;

● Reduction in water abstraction by encouraging more efficient use of water – allowing water companies to invest in modern infrastructure, and schemes which benefit the environment as well as water supply, and promoting water efficiency within households

● A strategic approach to the development of hydro and tidal power…support the development of renewable energy if it is environmentally sustainable. In-river hydro schemes must be assessed both for their specific impact and for their cumulative impact, with other hydro schemes, on a catchment as a whole. If they are likely to lead to harm to fish stocks or other aspects of the environment, they should not go ahead. While we support the development of tidal energy schemes, we do not think that a Severn barrage is a viable option, given its prohibitive cost and impact on the environment.

● Restoration of wetlands and flood plains to improve the retention of rainfall and flow regimes, and so reduce flooding from unnatural spates and ecologically dangerous low flows in drought conditions – especially important in upland areas, where drainage and overgrazing has destroyed the natural sponge effect of many catchments;

● Fish Passage – the Government must commit to introducing new regulations without delay. Meanwhile, anyone carrying out work on an existing barrier, or constructing a new one, should be required to incorporate the necessary improvements immediately

● Water Framework Directive – Government must commit to delivering WFD objectives (under which all the above are relevant), including adequate funding, to improve the ecological status of rivers and streams.

● Continued adequate scientific program of research is essential if fisheries and environmental policy is to be properly based on science. We appreciate the need to reduce Government spending, but believe that continuing research is essential if fisheries and environmental policy is to be properly based on science.

www.salmon-trout.org

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