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November 3, 2010

Salmon problems at the Morrum river in Sweden.

"Do no go lightly into the night, rage, rage at the loss of light"

Nothing like the decline in salmon populations makes me sad deep within my soul, and the development in Morrum is by all means very sad, this year have be close to catastrophic.

The MFA(Mörrum Fishing Association) really put in a lot of energy to make things right, but they are up against some huge interests and extremely slow and ineffective problem solving from the local government.
One of the persons who really stand out and does a tremendous work to make things right is Nigel Griffiths - the Chairman of MFA.

Here is some of his very relevant and absolutely relevant statements regarding the decline of the salmon population in the famous Morrum river..


Over the last few days, many have asked the MFA  wide ranging questions about what the Morrum web site statement regarding the collapse of the May salmon fishing means for the future of the fishery, our comments are as follows:
The MFA have stated quite clearly since September 2005. That there is an impending problem regarding the decline of salmon runs to the river. In the period from 2005 to the present, the MFA have advised all, that there are two primary and logical issues that would help to counter the continuing decline in the salmon numbers
A complete stop to all commercial fishing activities in the river estuary, marine and coastal areas, for not less five years. As it is estimated, that up to 1500 salmon and sea trout are taken by these nets per season.
We firmly believe under the present circumstances, that the issue of commercial nets cannot be continually by-passed by the authorities as being “not of importance” and that there should be immediate action taken by the authorities regarding said nets.
The MFA have, based on the success and results of other rivers over the years, advocated catch and release (C&R) of salmon and sea trout under the right set of circumstances. Since 2006 we have noted, that there has been a gradual increase in voluntary C&R on the Mörrumsån.
If the numbers of salmon continue to decline for the rest of the 2010 season, we will firmly propose to the appropriate authorities and managers, that they implement mandatory C&R without further delay.
This we believe will assure the sport fishermen, that the appropriate measures and actions in the medium term are being taken by the authorities. This will also enable the authorities to continue with remedial measures to tackle the inherent problems that exist with the fishery, without too much disruption to the sport fishing activities on the river. The inherent problems are:
The EU commission of fisheries, have reached through the “salmon action plan” program in the period from 1997 – 2009. That there is conclusive proof that the offshore Baltic Sea salmon populations are in continual decline. In the southern part of the Baltic, the declines are more rapid. Furthermore, the sea trout have also started to declined over the past few years
The breeding areas have over the years, have become smaller, and are under populated by female salmon.
Subject to what prevails during the coming months, it is proposed, that there be a clear  and timely program to stop the estuary nets without further delay.  In addition, that there be a mandatory C&R program for all female salmon be implemented without delay. There can no longer be any doubt whatsoever, that unless a firm and assertive action  taken by the appropiate authorities to halt the the drastic declines of salmon to the river. The river will fall into terminal decline to the extent that it will be 9 - 10 years before the river will be able to recover and provide a effective breeding cycle of native salmon.
Nigel Griffiths

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