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Wild Salmon Without Borders creates new international partnerships

Wild Atlantic salmon need cross-border alignment and the sharing of successful solutions if they are to have a thriving future. Thanks to Wild Salmon Without Borders, we’ve collectively taken another step forward.

The Wild Salmon Without Borders event, part of this year’s 19th International Experience the World of Fly Fishing (EWF) fly fishing show in Germany, took place over the weekend of April 13th and 14th and successfully brought together key individuals and organisations from across Europe to motivate a renewed focus on international collaboration for wild Atlantic salmon restoration.

The Atlantic Salmon Trust, together with EWF show organisers, worked together to create and host the event. Expert speakers from all across Europe were brought together, including representatives from the Atlantic Salmon Trust, Missing Salmon Alliance, North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF), Norske Lakseelver, World Fish Migration Foundation, Fario e.V., Wanderfische ohne Grenzen e.V., Danmarks Centre For Vildlaks, Patagonia Europe, and others.

Positivity not negativity – championing the solutions

The line-up of speakers, including a Q&A panel discussion about the role of the angling community in supporting wild Atlantic salmon conservation, ensured that representative voices came from a range of countries, including Iceland, Norway, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, Denmark, France, and Ireland. Speakers highlighted a variety of issues affecting wild Atlantic salmon including the dangers and risks posed by open net pen salmon farming, red skin disease, and barriers to migration.

However the event sought not to dwell on the many negative problems facing the species, but to create a platform to offer positive solutions with which we can all move forward. This included sharing habitat restoration case studies, including our work on Project Laxford and Project Deveron, successful barrier removal campaigns, the success story of the restoration of the River Skjern in Denmark, as well as how to successfully raise public awareness against unsustainable open pen salmon farming practices. Several short films were also shown at the event, aiming to highlight the cultural importance of wild Atlantic salmon. These included the French animated film ‘Salmo’ by Paul Pajot, British animated film ‘Wild Summon’ by Karni Arieli and Saul Freed which was nominated for a BAFTA and shortlisted for an Oscar, and Patagonia’s latest film ‘Laxaþjóð | A Salmon Nation’ which tells the story of growing opposition to unsustainable open pen salmon farming in Iceland.

With new international links and relationships now forged between individuals and organisations across Europe working to protect wild salmon, it is now hoped that these connections will enable the greater rollout of positive solutions and action for wild Atlantic salmon restoration.

Click the link below to view a video compilation from the event.

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