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  1. #1
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Salmon Tagging and Tracking Project Receives Award from The Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation

    Issued by the Atlantic Salmon Trust



    Work to understand what ishappening to Scotland’s iconic wild salmon has been given a leap forward as TheGordon and Ena Baxter Foundation, a Foundation that awards funds to wellmanaged charities which are making a positive difference, awarded the AtlanticSalmon Trust £50,000 towards their Moray Firth tracking programme.
    The Moray Firth Tracking Project iscurrently the largest salmon tracking project ever undertaken in Europe and thefirst time that a regional approach has been taken to better understand what’shappening to salmon on their journey to sea.
    Running over a 3-year period, the innovative project has so far tagged 800 young salmon smolts (since commencing this Spring) as they migrate downstream from the headwaters of seven rivers around the Moray Firth, including the River Spey, which runs through the heart of the Foundation in Fochabers.
    More information about the Moray Firth Tracking Project can be found here.
    Foundation manager Kay Jackson welcomed Mark Bilsby,the Trust’s Chief Executive Officer, to Fochabers for an update on progress,given on the banks of the River Spey.
    Mrs Jackson said:
    “This is one of 7 rivers being monitored as part of this 3-year tagging and tracking project, which is designed to uncover the secrets of the missing salmon. That will hopefully mean steps can be taken to halt the decline of this iconic species.
    GordonBaxter was an avid angler – particularly on the Spey, which flows 120yards from the company’s Speyside factories. He would spend long hours fishingand even clinched business deals on the banks of the river. This is a hugelyimportant and valuable piece of work and one which we know Mr Gordon would havesupported wholeheartedly.”
    AST Chief Executive Officer, Mark Bilsby and GEB Foundation Manager, Kay JacksonThe Atlantic Salmon Trust, withsupport of fifty local and national organisations, aims for this project totrack and identify salmon migration routes and patterns in an attempt toevaluate what is happening on their journey and better understand what can bedone to effectively manage salmon stocks. By joining forces with local FisheryBoards and Trusts, this information will be collected to analyse what may beimpacting these fish and help put the tagging results into context, aidingmanagement decisions to reverse the downwards trend.
    Mark Bilsby, Chief Executive Officer of the Atlantic Salmon Trust said:
    “The problems that salmon face are manifold and we are deeply concerned that if we don’t understand what is happening to them then there is a real threat that we will lose them for future generations. The exceptionally welcome support by The Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation will enable us to really understand what is going on and help support the local community to better manage the salmon and the waters they live in.”
    About The Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation
    The Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundationwas established in 1981 by brothers Gordon and Ian Baxter together withGordon’s wife, Ena to allow the Baxter family to give something back to thepeople who had helped lay the foundations of their successful familyenterprise, Baxters.
    The Foundation awards funds fromGordon and Ena Baxter’s private estate to worthy, well-managed charities andcommunity organisations which are making a positive difference to theircommunities across the north east of Scotland and the Highland and Islands.
    Since 2013, The Gordon and EnaBaxter Foundation has awarded over £1,250,000 to a host of charities andcommunity organisations working to benefit their local communities in the NorthEast and the Highlands and Islands. ­
    www.gebfoundation.com
    Follow The Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation on Twitter @GEBFoundation

    Article featured in…

    The Northern Scot – 27th August 2019
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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Salmon Tagging and Tracking Project Receives Award from The Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation

    Pleased as I am to see some effort being made to try to discover what happens to our Atlantic Salmon when they go out to sea I cannot help but feel that £50,000 is but a drop in the ocean compared to the sums actually needed. 800 smolts tagged this year and given the known mortality I would be surprised indeed if even one of them made it back.

    Compare this with the efforts made in Canada. I paid a visit to Hell's Gate on the Fraser River in British Columbia where there are a series of fish passes that allow salmon to pass through at almost any river height. We made our 500' descent into the canyon via a cable car and on arriving at the bottom and leaving the car I noticed a radio tracking station positioned to pick up recordings from the salmon that had been tagged.

    Hell's Gate is at least 200 river miles from the sea and there are numerous tributaries, large and small, before the sea was reached. I wondered how many thousands of fish had been tagged and the vast amount of dollars that had been spent in order to obtain any meaningful data.

    I wish them luck with their project.

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