Angling body appoints new chief
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