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UK’s Atlantic salmon are reclassified as endangered

The reclassification of Atlantic salmon to endangered is a ‘stark and upsetting reminder of failure’.

The latest species reassessment report by the IUCN shows that nearly a quarter of the world’s freshwater fish are at risk of extinction, with the main UK population of Atlantic salmon reclassified as endangered. Global Atlantic salmon populations have been reclassified from least concern to near threatened. 

IUCN said: “Atlantic salmon are now restricted to a small portion of the rivers they inhabited a century ago across northern Europe and North America, due to multiple threats over the course of their long-distance migrations between freshwater and marine habitats.” 

Andrew Flitcroft, editor of Trout & Salmon, said: “The recent IUCN reclassification of wild Atlantic salmon from least concern to endangered in the UK is a stark, upsetting reminder of how successive governments have failed the species and valued trade and profit over the protection of the environment and wildlife. Surely, the national governments must now face the reality of the situation and bring those that jeopardise wild salmon recovery to book, while delivering an immediate change to policy. 

“The status quo is no longer acceptable.”