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Project SAMARCH hosts International Forum on protection of salmonids at sea


sea trout being released by the GWCTs William Beaumont c. GWCT

Preliminary findings from tracking studies carried out by project SAMARCH show that sea trout from France migrate to the UK coast and vice versa, and that individuals from both France and the UK are sharing similar marine feeding habitat. The results highlight the need for international management of sea trout at sea.

The SAMARCH research was shared this week at an international forum, Salmon and sea trout: scientific tools for their protection (Saumon & Truite de mer: des outils scientifiques au service de leur protection) which took place on 17 & 18 May 2022 in Pléneuf Val André (Brittany, France). Over 120 international participants, focused on the management and protection of wild salmon and sea trout, are coming together at the event organised by project partner Bretagne Grands Migrateurs.

Project SAMARCH (SAlmonid MAnagement Round the CHannel) is funded by the Interreg France (Channel) England Programme from 2017 to 2023. It aims to improve the management of salmon and sea trout populations in the Channel.

The International forum brought together scientists and fisheries managers from France and England, in order to present the first results of the SAMARCH research and take stock of the current knowledge on salmon and sea trout in the rivers, estuaries and coastal areas between France and the UK.

Forum participants have also focused on the management and regulations that exist in the marine environment, and how the results from SAMARCH can be used to inform policy and management practices. Discussions from the forum are used to develop recommendations that will maximise the potential of novel data collected by the SAMARCH partners, to protect and improve migratory salmonid stocks.

SAMARCH is a consortium of 10 partners involved in scientific research and management, led by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) which aims to generate new knowledge on the biology and ecology of salmonids and to transfer this knowledge to improve regulations in France and the UK for the management of salmonids in estuaries and coastal areas. The ultimate aim is to help increase salmon and sea trout populations.

Ahead of the Forum, Gaëlle Germis, Directrice of Bretagne Grands Migrateurs said: “We are delighted that all the partners of SAMARCH are present for this event in France. We are happy to welcome Prof. Ken Whelan, as well as all our Breton and Norman partners who work every day to manage and restore migratory salmonids. The exchanges that will take place during the discussions will enrich the debates on topics such as the restoration of ecological continuity in the coastal zone, offshore wind power, the supervision of professional and leisure fishing.”

Dylan Roberts, SAMARCH Project Manager and GWCT Head of Fisheries, said: “With stocks of Atlantic salmon and sea trout at critical levels across much of their natural range it is crucial that we work together, to protect these fish. I am looking forward to two days of interesting debate over what is a very complex conservation area.”

The International SAMARCH Forum, also was a featured event for World Fish Migration Day, whose main goal is to improve the public’s understanding of the importance of migratory fish and how we can reduce our impact on them.

More information:

International SAMARCH Forum
SAMARCH project website