THE WYE Salmon Association (WSA) is leading a petition to force the Welsh Government to address the declining salmon numbers in the Wye river. Triggered by a report from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) revealing low salmon numbers for two decades, the petition calls for a House of Commons debate to address the issue and prevent NRW from closing salmon rivers throughout Wales while further research is commissioned.
The WSA accuses NRW of a “vastly expensive cover-up for 15 years of their inactivity” and is calling for immediate action to stem the annual decline in salmon numbers. The group hopes to gather 100,000 signatures and force a debate in the House of Commons.
Stuart Smith, chairman of the Wye Salmon Association, says NRW’s soft option of simply banning salmon fishing is not effective, and that reopening the Wye conservation hatchery is an important step towards increasing salmon numbers. NRW, however, disagrees and advises against “artificial rearing without a thorough, critical investigation of the cause of the decline and the likely outcome”.
The WSA argues that reopening the conservation hatchery will cost a tiny proportion of NRW’s budget and significantly less than their most recent report. The petition aims to drive positive change and prevent the extinction of the Wye river as a salmon river.