Project SAMARCH will provide vital research on the populations of salmonids (salmon and sea trout) in the Channel area to better inform the management of these populations.
With Atlantic salmon and sea trout populations declining by as much as 70% since the 1970s, SAMARCH aims to gather information on salmonid populations which will then be used to improve the management and protection of these populations. The research will focus on several key areas including tracking the movements of salmonid populations in estuaries and coastal waters to determine what proportion of fish die in these areas.
The information gathered from the 5 year project will then be used to improve the tools used by the regulatory bodies in England and France to manage their salmonids stocks and to push through changes in regulations on the management of salmonids in estuaries and coastal waters which, if implemented, could lead to a 6-9% increase in adult populations of salmonid in the Channel area. These changes in regulation will also have a direct impact on the water quality in estuaries and coastal waters.
The research is vitally important as Atlantic salmon and sea trout play a major role in coastal and river ecosystems, with juveniles providing a key source of food for other fish such as sea bass and lamprey, sea birds and otters. Salmonids also have a considerable economic importance through angling in Europe, estimated to be worth as much as €1.2 billion.