Meet the team

2 minute read / Matt Palmer
  • Wildfish
  • Wildfish
  • Wildfish
  • Wildfish

Matt joined us earlier this year as a Farmed Salmon Campaign Manager. A registered veterinary surgeon, Matt is invested in the health and welfare of wild fish. Here is what he told us about life prior to joining WildFish. 

What was your background prior to joining WildFish?

As a registered veterinary surgeon, I chose to devote my career to ensuring the health and welfare of animals. Having qualified from the University of Liverpool in 2015, I went on to gain a master’s degree in Aquatic Veterinary Science at the University of Stirling. The Scottish salmon farming industry was a key area of focus during the course, leading me to concentrate my early veterinary career in the salmon farming industry. As my knowledge and experience in the industry grew, I become more aware of the animal welfare issues and environment impacts of open-net salmon farming.

Tell us about your new role?

I am excited to use my aquaculture knowledge in my new role at WildFish. My focus is to raise awareness of the environmental, sustainability and welfare issues associated with open-net salmon farming in Scotland. In collaboration with other like-minded NGOs, community groups and the hospitality sector we will be campaigning for an end to intensive open-net salmon farming.

As a vet, animals – both farmed and wild – will always be at the forefront of my work.

How will your role have a positive influence in wild fish conservation?

The need for action and industry wide reform has never been greater. Disease outbreaks, high mortality rates, chemical and waste discharges and the numerous environmental and welfare concerns around sea lice control are among a few of the reasons. These issues can result in substantial negative impacts on our aquatic ecosystems.

Despite this, the Scottish Government continues to support the planned expansion of the open-net salmon farming industry in Scotland, threatening our wild fish and aquatic ecosystems further. Wild fish need a louder voice to combat the impacts of open-net salmon farming in Scotland.

My role will help escalate awareness of the impacts and drive action to prevent them.

Your favourite freshwater species, and why?

The physiological alterations required of an Atlantic salmon to enable it to survive in both fresh and salt water continues to amaze me. Starting life in our rivers and streams, the young salmon  – known as a smolt- undergoes a remarkable metamorphosis to survive in the marine environment.

The transformation of Atlantic salmon from a striped freshwater fish to a streamlined bar of silver, ready to migrate across oceans, remains one of the greatest wonders of the natural world. My goal is to conserve this iconic and threatened species for future generations.

By: Matt Palmer
Farmed Salmon Campaign Manager
Meet the team - Wildfish
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