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SwAM Proposes New Regulations to Protect Salmon and Trout

The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management, SwAM, is proposing changes in the regulations for salmon and trout fishing along Sweden's west coast. "In recent years, salmon and trout stocks have drastically deteriorated; only three of the rivers home to these populations on Sweden's west coast are reaching the set conservation objectives," says Håkan Carlstrand, an analyst for fisheries policy at SwAM.

Photo: Ingemar Andersson/Azote.

The reasons why stocks are falling in numbers are complex and vary between streams. Climate change may have led to changed conditions for salmon in the Atlantic. Expansion of hydropower, acidification, disease and parasites, and increased fishing are other possible causes.

But common to all stocks is the dramatic decline of survival for juvenile salmon during their first year in the Atlantic Ocean since the 1980s,” explains Carlstrand

SwAM has developed a plan for the preservation, restoration and utilization of west coast salmon for the years 2013–2018. According to the proposal, the production of salmon in each stream should eventually reach at least 75 percent of its potential. The plan includes steering fishing activities away from areas in the ocean where salmon from different populations are mixed.

This proposal is in line with regulations we have introduced to protect wild salmon in the Baltic Sea,” says Carlstrand.

Trout fishing is currently not regulated beyond such general measures as seasonal closures and minimum dimensions for gear. “Since the 1990s, the density of juvenile trout in waters has gradually decreased and in recent years we have seen a sharp decline. As a precaution, we are now suggesting an increased protection for sea trout through new regulations for fishing with handheld gear,” says Håkan Carlstrand.

The changes for salmon and trout fishing on the west coast are suggested to go into effect on March 1, 2014. The proposal is now being circulated among other agencies and interest groups through January 31.

The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM) is a government authority that works to achieve flourishing seas, lakes and streams for the benefit and enjoyment of all.

The photo may be used for editorial republishing where SwAM and its work are described, one year from the press release's date. Usage for commercial purposes is not permitted. In conjunction to publishing, the name of the photographer and source shall always be stated. 

Published: 2014-02-13

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