• Lax | Salmon
    Lax | Salmon

Discovering why wild salmon is in decline


A recent European Union (EU)-funded research project has produced some surprising results on why wild salmon is in decline. The project had several participants, including Matís from Iceland.

SALSEA-MERGE, the European strand of the SALSEA project, has made a vital contribution towards discovering why numbers of wild salmon are in decline and dying at sea.

The SALSEA project was initiated by the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASC and consists of three strands, SALSEA-Greenland, SALSEA North-America and SALSEA-MERGE.)

The SALSEA-MERGE team looked at the migration and distribution of fish at sea in relation to the river where they were born. By examining variations in their DNA and using the same technology used by detectives to solve crimes, scientists were able to identify individual groups of wild salmon.

“The research team found that a specific set of genes differed among fish from different regions and, for the very first time, it was possible to identify stock groups associated with different parts of Europe. By reading their DNA, scientists were able to tell which particular region an individual fish caught at sea came from,” explains Professor Ken Whelan, Research Director, Atlantic Salmon Trust, United Kingdom and SALSEA-MERGE project representative.

For additional information, please visit EC Research & Innovation website.

The SALSEA-Merge Project website.
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