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International Atlantic Salmon Research Board
Unravelling the mysteries of the salmon at sea to promote their recovery




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The SALSEA Programme

SALSEA is an international programme of co-operative research, adopted in 2005, designed to improve understanding of the migration and distribution of salmon at sea in relation to feeding opportunities and predation.

SALSEA contains a comprehensive mix of freshwater, estuarine, coastal and offshore elements, ensuring a thorough overview of factors which may affect the mortality of Atlantic salmon and the opportunities to counteract them. It differentiates between tasks which can be achieved through enhanced co-ordination of existing ongoing research, and those involving new research for which funding is required. SALSEA comprises four separate Work Packages:supporting technologies; early migration through the inshore zone; investigating the distribution and migration of salmon at sea; communications.

Under SALSEA, marine surveys were conducted in the North-East (SALSEA Merge) and Northwest (SALSEA North America) Atlantic together with enhanced sampling at West Greenland (SALSEA West Greenland), and other major research initiatives. The NASCO/ICES 'Salmon Summit' allowed for the review of the findings of this research. Read about SALSEA findings...

In 2012/2013 the Board reviewed its research priorities.
The Board noted that genetic stock identification and other advances in the field of genetics, migration modeling, tracking and studies of the diet of salmon at sea all have considerable implications for management and there have been advances in all these areas of research under the SALSEA Programme. The Board decided that a particular focus should now be studies to partition mortality of salmon among the phases of the marine migration and it established a Telemetry Sub-Group to advise on the development of an international programme of research. Read more...

As a first step in developing an International Telemetry Programme, the Board hosted a Workshop. Read more... This Workshop had developed outline proposals for telemetry studies which have been endorsed by the Board:

  • Drifters and BioProbes: Options for detecting acoustically tagged fish in large geographic areas (NAC and/or NEAC);
  • New Receiver Lines/Arrays/Grids (NAC);
  • Platforms of Opportunity in the NAC area: Stationary Platforms of Opportunity Receiver Exchange (SPORE);
  • NAC kelt satellite tagging;
  • Generic Index River Sites in the NEAC area;
  • Malin Head to Islay Receiver Array (NEAC);
  • North Sea Loose Array (NEAC);
  • West-coast Scottish arrays (NEAC);
  • Studies of migration along the European shelf edge and into the Norwegian Sea using drifters/AUVs etc (NEAC);
  • NEAC kelt satellite tagging;
  • Sub-adult satellite tagging at Faroes;
  • Adult satellite/acoustic tagging at Greenland.

In 2014, the Board endorsed the need for an international acoustic tracking programme and adopted a Resolution (ICR(14)10) encouraging Parties to continue the development of local collaborative telemetry projects, encouraging the development of large international collaborative projects building on local efforts and encouraging Parties to make efforts to identify funding sources. Read more...

The Board recognised the high value of the SALSEA brand and the strong impact of NASCO as the international forum for consultation and cooperation on wild Atlantic salmon. The Board reaffirmed its commitment to an international telemetry project under the SALSEA brand, named ‘SALSEA-Track’. Read more... Specifically, the Board will support SALSEA-Track as a continuing commitment to understanding the factors affecting mortality of salmon at sea, to make funds available to prepare a vision statement for SALSEA-Track and to advance existing initiatives towards an integrated collaborative telemetry programme.

SALSEA Documents

Structure of SALSEA

Overview of SALSEA
The SALSEA Programme
Report of the Meeting of the Sub-Group on the Future Direction of Research on Marine Survival of Salmon
Report of the SAG Sub-Group on Telemetry
Resolution of the International Atlantic Salmon Research Board (IASRB) on Research on Salmon at Sea
Report of NASCO’s International Atlantic Salmon Research Board’s Telemetry Workshop
SALSEA - Track: Innovative research to solve the mystery of Atlantic salmon mortality at sea

Photos courtesy of the Marine Institute, Ireland; Atlantic Salmon Federation, Canada; Gilbert van Ryckevorsel; Dr Jens Christian Holst, Norway; Atlantic Salmon Federation & Bill Curtsing, Canada; Dr Jens Christian Holst, Norway; Mr David Reddin, Canada.

Gear Trial
Tracking Work
Schoal Swimming
Gear Trial
Live Catch Trawl
Wilfred Templeman