Our Successes

Our Successes

A charity since 2008

WildFish is committed to the conservation of freshwater fish species and their habitats. Here are our recent achievements:


WildFish supporters raise over £28,000 to Save Atlantic Salmon.

The vital funds raised mean we can have an even bigger impact in calling for urgent change to how Atlantic salmon and their habitats are protected by enforcing the regulations that should prevent harm from pollution and removing open-net salmon farms from Scottish waters.



Reassessment of Atlantic salmon populations announced thanks to WildFish funding

In December, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species announced that UK populations of Atlantic salmon move to endangered. Understanding the species’ new conservation status would not have been possible without funding raised by WildFish supporters.


WildFish submits formal letters to the Environment Agency and Ofwat

In October, WildFish sent formal letters to the Environment Agency and OFWAT setting down exactly what the law requires them to do to end unlawful sewage discharges.


SmartRivers project samples 178 river sites across the UK

WildFish volunteers sampled 178 river sites throughout the autumn as part of our citizen-science scheme to tackle the growing data gap in river monitoring.


WildFish supporters raise over £101,000 to protect wild fish and their waters

The money raised in our 2023 fundraising auction is vital in our fight to reverse the decline of wild fish populations in the UK. These funds will make a significant contribution to our campaigning as we strive for fresh and coastal waters that are clean, healthy and full of life.


WildFish publish report that questions whether consumers are being misled by certification bodies and supermarkets

Published in September, a report from WildFish finds salmon farms are certified by leading bodies (including RSPCA Assured and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council) despite substantial marine pollution, inadequate parasite control and monthly mortality rates as high as 74%.


WildFish launchs NEW online directory of Off the Table restaurants

Off the Table launches an international directory of chefs and restaurants who have taken farmed salmon off their menus. From inception, the campaign has been met with a positive response from the hospitality sector, community groups and national and international NGOs.


Legal challenge from WildFish against sewage heard in the High Court

On 4 July, the legal challenge brought by WildFish, which seeks to have the Government’s sewage plan rejected as unlawful and re-written, was heard in the High Court.


WildFish improve transparency of Water Resources Management Plans

WildFish ran a successful campaign to improve the transparency of Water Resources Management Plans (WRMPs). Campaigning efforts brought forward proposed abstraction reductions in Wessex Water and Portsmouth Water’s supply areas. In addition, legal pressure on Southern Water and South West Water led to both companies re-consulting on their draft WRMPs.


WildFish report finds Scottish salmon farms failing to meet own guidlines

WildFish report Breaching the Limits found that the Scottish salmon and trout farming industry is allowing parasitic sea lice levels to reach over 5 million lice on a single farm at one time, with up to 2 billion sea lice being emitted over a week, risking fatal spread to wild fish.


WildFish granted permission to challenge the Government’s Sewage Overflows Plan

On 14 February, WildFish was given permission to apply for judicial review of the Government’s “Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan”. The legal challenge is led by leading environmental law barrister James Maurici KC, Charles Bishop of Landmark Chambers, and Fieldfisher LLP.


WildFish report reveals England is not prepared for drought

In February, WildFish published the report: England is not prepared for drought which reveals that across England current water supply is unable to meet public demand in times of extreme drought.



WildFish Launch Off the Table

Off the Table is a coalition campaign coordinated by WildFish. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the environmentally destructive nature of the salmon farming industry and calls on the hospitality sector to take farmed salmon off its menus. Since its launch (October 2022), the campaign has recruited over 140 chefs, restaurants and hospitality businesses and more than 50 community group partners.


Office for Environmental Protection announce investigation of sewage pollution in English rivers

Following a complaint by WildFish, the Office for Environmental Protection announced (June 2022) an investigation into The Secretary of State for the Environment, Ofwat and the Environment Agency. The OEP will explore their failures to comply with relevant environmental law duties relating to untreated sewage discharge into English rivers by water companies.


Forced change to Farming Rules for Water

WildFish force change to how Farming Rules for Water will be enforced to protect English rivers. WildFish forced a change in guidance which would have encouraged farmers unlawfully to apply slurries and manures to their land, in excess of the needs of the soil or crops on that land



First complaint to the OEP submitted

WildFish submits their first complaint to the Office of Environmental Protection (OEP). This complaint challenges the failure of Ofwat and Secretaries of State to enforce the law and protect English rivers from sewage pollution.



Salad washing plant at Alresford closed

In late 2020 Bakkavör announces they are closing their salad washing plant at Alresford on the Upper Itchen. This follows continued pressure from WildFish about the pesticide pollution in their discharge, which impacts the ecology downstream.



Closure of English Salmon Netting in Northeast England

Over almost 40-years, WildFish contributes to political lobbying that leads to the Fisheries Minister announcing a closure of English Salmon Netting in Northeast England in 2019. Compulsory release of all salmon caught in coastal T&J nets is announced at the same time.

“WildFish campaign tirelessly to preserve and protect waterways and the species that live in them”.

Robbie Hollis

SmartRivers Volunteer Programme

WildFish launched SmartRivers, a volunteer-led river sampling programme. Volunteers sample aquatic invertebrates as indicators of water quality.



Parliamentary inquiry into salmon farming

The formal petition, submitted by WildFish, to the Scottish Parliament in 2016 triggers a Parliamentary Inquiry into the salmon farming industry. Conducted by two committees, it sets out to consider a reform of open-net salmon farming while highlighting the industry’s impact on wild salmon and sea trout.



Petition for regulation of open-net salmon farming

WildFish submits a formal petition to the Scottish Parliament for tighter regulation of open-net salmon farming and limit harm to wild fish.


Development of phosphorus discharge limits

WildFish in-river phosphate sampling leads to the development of new phosphorus discharge limits for watercress farms.

“Finally wild fish have found a voice. A voice of authority & independence, free of the tawdry shackles of water industry and government funding”

Feargal Sharkey
Singer and Campaigner

Coastal netting stations in Scotland closed

WildFish campaigning to The Scottish Government played a pivotal role in this closure. A significant success for wild Scottish salmon and sea trout conservation.

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WildFish challenges the Forestry Commission

WildFish challenges the Forestry Commission’s use of cypermethrin and the legal basis for the derogation. The use of the chemical wasn’t stopped, but was only granted for three years (instead of five) meaning alternatives to minimise the impact on salmon and trout spawning streams are accelerated.


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