Atlantic salmon with skin damage

Through the officers of the Forth District Salmon Fishery Board we have received the following message from Fisheries Management Scotland

As you know, there are currently concerns about the health status of wild Atlantic salmon in Scotland where captured and observed fish are showing signs of skin damage, including red marks around the fins and belly, inflamed vent and associated fungal infection. A number of fish have been sampled by the Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI). The results from the sampling conducted have identified inflammation in muscle and a number of internal organs of one of the fish, but the primary pathogen or cause has not been identified.

The guidance issued by FHI is still current. It is important to note that there is no present requirement for removal of affected fish for disease control purposes. FHI will also continue to target sampling of moribund or lethargic fish which can be maintained alive. Additional sampling may be undertaken of affected fish which have been removed from rivers, dispatched and stored at 4°C, however, I fully appreciate that ongoing provision of samples (live or dead) will depend on the logistics and resources available at the time of reporting.

To ensure compliance with the current conservation regulations, fish must not be removed from those rivers where the taking of fish is prohibited, as there is currently no requirement to remove fish for disease control purposes. In such a river, if a fish is observed which causes concern, the data reporting request (see below) should be followed to provide data that can inform the overall situation, whilst following the legislative requirements for releasing fish. If a number of affected fish are observed in such a river the FHI should be notified (tel 0131 244 3498) email and can arrange for the appropriate permissions to enable sampling to be undertaken, in collaboration with local wild fishery interests.

We have agreed with Marine Scotland and SNH that it would be useful to gather consistent information via Fisheries Management Scotland so that we can build a better picture of the national situation. Your co-operation in providing information would be much appreciated, and I would be grateful if you could provide the following information, supplemented with images wherever possible:

  • Date & numbers of affected fish a) observed b) caught and c) descriptor of condition (supplemented by images wherever possible to show the location, size and severity of visible marks on fish)
  • Type of fish – 1SW or MSW salmon
  • Location (grid reference)

I am aware that some of you have provided ad-hoc information previously, however for completeness, please can you provide all information you have, whether previously submitted or not. When supplying information, It would be very helpful if you could send information both to myself  and Alan


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