30 October 2018

Appeal to save sea trout passes halfway

Fish 2

DONATIONS for a state-of-the-art piece of technology that tries to understand why sea trout are in continuous decline have passed the halfway point.

Since the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s Sea Trout Appeal launched in September, it has raised just over £17,500 for the purchase of data storage tags.

Each tag, about one inch in size, is inserted into adult sea trout and contains several sensors, all used to measure crucial information to an internal memory.

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They are later recovered by GWCT fisheries scientists who will analyse the data and allow an insight into their marine behaviour throughout the five-year project called SAMARCH (SAlmonid MAnagement Round the CHannel - www.samarch.org).

The Trust is hoping to buy 300 tags, costing £300 each, for the project which is co-funded by the EU’s Interreg channel programme, covering 69% of the overall cost - leaving GWCT left to stump up the rest (www.channelmanche.com).

“I’m delighted that we have managed to raise enough matched funding so far for 180 sea trout tags, it really does show that people are concerned about the future of these enigmatic fish,” said head of fisheries at GWCT Dylan Roberts.

“However, we are only just half way to our target, if you can support us please do.”

It is estimated that sea trout have declined by 70% since the 1970s. There are concerns regarding the bycatch of sea trout from coastal fishing activities and impacts from coastal developments and renewable energy schemes such as, wind farms, tidal lagoons and underwater turbines. Knowing where sea trout spend their time at sea will provide crucial evidence to help limit deleterious impacts.

Our research also shows that 80% of the young sea trout that leave our rivers die at sea, a figure which is continuing to grow. If we can increase the survival rate through more effective, evidence-based management, more adults returning to our rivers to spawn.

Your support in buying new tags could help us find the answers to help our sea trout as time is running out and, if we don’t act quickly, it will be too late,” added Dylan.

GWCT hopes to raise the target of £27,900 by the end of 2018. To help us, donate at https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/gwctseatrout  

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Notes to editors

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust – providing research-led conservation for a thriving countryside. The GWCT is an independent wildlife conservation charity which has carried out scientific research into Britain’s game and wildlife since the 1930s. We advise farmers and landowners on improving wildlife habitats. We employ 22 post-doctoral scientists and 50 other research staff with expertise in areas such as birds, insects, mammals, farming, fish and statistics. We undertake our own research as well as projects funded by contract and grant-aid from Government and private bodies. The Trust is also responsible for a number of Government Biodiversity Action Plan species and is lead partner for grey partridge and joint lead partner for brown hare and black grouse.

ISDN radio broadcast line – at our Fordingbridge HQ we have an ISDN radio broadcast line, allowing us to conduct interviews remotely.

For information, contact:
Kate Williams
Telephone: 01425 651000
Email: press@gwct.org.uk

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