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IYS 2019







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Habitat Protection and Restoration

Pelagic Trawl Spacer Shoal Spacer Wilfred Templeman
Improvement works on the Glenglosh River, Ireland, to address problems caused by overgrazing. (Above - before works; below - after works)   Bank improvement works
Photographs courtesy of Central Fisheries Board, Ireland

Over the last 150 years much salmon habitat has been lost and this must have been a major contributory factor to the decline in wild salmon stocks. Causes include visible factors, such as hydro-electric dams, and the invisible, but highly damaging, impacts of acid rain. There may be physical, chemical or biological impacts on habitat. Read more...

The goal for NASCO and its Parties is to maintain and, where possible, increase the current productive capacity of Atlantic salmon habitat and in order to assist achieve this NASCO has developed a Plan of Action for Habitat Protection and Restoration Read more....

The key issues in relation to habitat protection and restoration are to:

  • ensure effective implementation of NASCO’s Plan of Action for Habitat Protection and Restoration;
  • enhance sharing and exchange of information on habitat issues and best management practices between NASCO Parties and other relevant international bodies;
  • maintain the NASCO salmon rivers database.

The Action Plan requires:

  • development of comprehensive plans to protect and restore habitat;
  • establishment of inventories of salmon habitat.

In 2010, NASCO adopted Guidelines for the Protection, Restoration and Enhancement of Atlantic Salmon Habitat. These Guidelines are intended to assist the jurisdictions make further progress in implementing NASCO’s agreements. Read more... (These Guidelines are also available in French. Read more...)

Progress in implementing NASCO's Agreements and Guidelines relating to habitat protection and restoration is assessed through review of Implementation Plans, Focus Area Reports and Annual Progress Reports. Read more...

In 2015 the Council held a Theme-based Special Session on the topic of 'Maintaining and improving river connectivity with particular focus on impacts of hydropower' Read more...

The objectives of this session were to review and share best practice on the approaches taken by NASCO Parties and jurisdictions to:

  • balance the pressures to refurbish existing and install new obstructions against the potential impacts on river connectivity, with particular reference to hydropower developments;
  • mitigate the impacts of existing obstructions, including hydropower schemes, on salmon populations;
  • evaluate the benefits and costs of removing dams and other obstructions.

OSPAR is the mechanism by which fifteen Governments of the western coasts and catchments of Europe, together with the European Community, cooperate to protect the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic. NASCO has agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the OSPAR Commission concerning cooperation between the two organizations. Read more...

Further information on Habitat Protection and Restoration: