Atlantic Salmon Arc Project


In 2006 ASAP was launched to develop international cooperation to ensure the survival of the Atlantic Salmon. The lifecycle of the Atlantic Salmon is complicated and arduous enough, without taking politics into account. By moving through waters governed by different countries the Salmon encountered various and often conflicting management techniques that, when combined, had a detrimental effect on the Salmonid population. In response to this the Atlantic Salmon ARC Project was set up.

Led by Westcountry Rivers Trust and the University of Exeter and initially intended to coordinate the UK, France & Spain, Ultimately this highly successful project received input from the Irish Marine Institute, The United States Geological survey (USGS), the Fisheries Research Services of Scotland as well as input from several private universities in Russia & Scandinavia.

ASAP fostered best practice for management at all levels and produced an accessible toolbox for targeted ecological management and economic assessment of populations across many countries. These techniques have since been adopted by several countries.

By studying the genetics of the Atlantic Salmon, Researchers were able to pinpoint specific genetic ‘fingerprints’ that acted as tags to trace the individual fish across its migratory range. This was developed into the creation of a library of genetic information held within a GIS database. ASAP was also responsible the production of some high quality science such as this paper published in Ecology and Evolution.