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Conserving our Atlantic salmon as a sustainable resource for people in the North (KO4178 CoASal)

Programme funding: 824 118 € Total budget: 1 146 619 € Duration: 01.01.2020 – 30.09.2022

The Atlantic salmon is an amazing creature. Its birth and growth in streams and rivers of the Barents Sea area, its transformation from a freshwater fish to a seawater fish with all the physiological changes that are involved, its migration across thousands of kilometers from the feeding grounds to coastal areas and its accurate return to the river and even the riffle where it was born to breed and re-start its life cycle - all these attributes capture human imagination. While new fishery regulation measures are implemented to maintain conservation limits and to harvest salmon stocks sustainably, more and more wild salmon populations become threatened, most likely because of multiple factors, including global climate change, intensive development of salmon aquaculture industry, introductions of foreign fish species and habitat destruction. Another major threats, where knowledge status is poor are transmission of various pathogens from farmed to wild salmon and outbreaks of “dormant” diseases due to increase of river and sea temperatures. Changes in climate will especially affect the Arctic areas, where the anticipated temperature increase is the largest one. Global warming will have an effect on salmon in all stages of its life-cycle, both in the freshwater and in the sea.
The CoASal project will document and examine the effects of the new sea salmon fishery regulations, study the growing threats Atlantic salmon populations face today with climate change, growing cage culture industry and emerging diseases. The project raises awareness and knowledge on the unique and joint Atlantic salmon resource in the Barents region, enhances cooperation between local fishermen, decision makers and research institutions in Norway, Finland, Russia and Sweden.
Lead partner: Office of the Finnmark County Covernor, Vadsø
Other partners:
* Knipovich Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography, Murmansk, Russia
* University of Turku, Kevo Subarctic Research Institute, Utsjoki, Finland
* Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Resources, Uppsala, Sweden
* Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway
Status: Ongoing
Type of the project: Standard Projects