Angling body ap­points new chief

Fish Farmer - - United Kingdom News -

THE At­lantic Sal­mon Trust has named Mark Bilsby as its new chief ex­ec­u­tive, re­plac­ing Sarah Bay­ley Slater, who leaves the post af­ter two and a half years.

Bilsby has more than 20 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence as a fish­eries man­ager. He has been the di­rec­tor for the River Dee Trust and Dee District Sal­mon Fish­eries Board since 2005, and also spent a decade as a se­nior fish­eries bi­ol­o­gist for the West­ern Isles Fish­eries Trust.

Prior to that he worked with the Na­tional Rivers Au­thor­ity and at a pri­vate en­vi­ron­men­tal con­sul­tancy.

One of his first re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in his new role will be to over­see the Miss­ing Sal­mon Project, a tag­ging ini­tia­tive which will see the in­stal­la­tion of a 65-mile wide ‘acous­tic ar­ray’ across the Moray Firth in a bid to de­ter­mine why At­lantic sal­mon num­bers are drop­ping so rapidly. ‘There has never been a more ex­cit­ing time to join this or­gan­i­sa­tion – or a more im­por­tant time,’ he said. ‘The wild At­lantic sal­mon is in se­ri­ous dan­ger and we have a cru­cial role to play in safe­guard­ing its fu­ture.’ The Miss­ing Sal­mon Project was launched on the River Garry in April, with the At­lantic Sal­mon Trust say­ing the study will pro­vide much needed data on what is pre­vent­ing sal­mon smolts get­ting out into the sea. Data to be gath­ered will give fish­ery man­agers and NGOs the in­for­ma­tion they need to call for poli­cies that will pro­tect the iconic species, ac­cord­ing to groups who have pledged sup­port to the project.

Above: Mark Bilsby

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