Water Pattern - Wildfish

Act now to save Atlantic salmon.

Our waterways are not fit for anything and their shocking destruction has caused catastrophic declines in our Atlantic salmon populations. Watch the video below to find out more.


We can all do something to safeguard the future of this remarkable fish.

Unforgiving and perilous journeys

Barriers to migration, overfishing, excessive removal of water, pollution, parasites and diseases from open-net salmon farms and climate change are threatening the very survival of our wild Atlantic salmon.

Follow the link below to read our Atlantic salmon factsheet and learn more about how their remarkable journey is now littered with danger at every turn.

Find out more
Wildfish -

Threats to their survival

1. Open-Net Salmon Farming

Poorly run and badly sited open-net salmon farms put wild salmon at risk from parasites and diseases. Farmed fish that escape these open-net pens threaten the genetic integrity of wild salmon and further compromise their future survival. 

Open-net salmon farming is fundamentally unsustainable

We campaign to remove open-net salmon farms from the coastal waters that surround Scotland. 

Find out more about our campaign to save Atlantic salmon from the impacts of open-net salmon farming. 

2. Water Pollution

Almost everything we do on land has an impact on our waterways and the wildlife they support, including Atlantic salmon. Today, our rivers and oceans are being destroyed by pollution from:  

  • Untreated sewage pumped illegally into rivers and oceans across the UK daily. Sewage reduces the quality of water by stimulating the growth of algae which starves freshwater species, like Atlantic salmon, of oxygen.
  • Excess sediment, nutrients and chemicals that run off farmland and straight into our rivers, lakes and streams.
  • Chemicals that leach into the water from sewers, roads and the land. Chemical pollution can cause lethal harm to river life and is increasing with the impacts of climate change and more frequent, heavy rainfall.

Click on the links below to find out more about the pollutants devastating the habitats Atlantic salmon depend on:  

Sewage pollution

Agricultural pollution

Chemical pollution

3. Water Supply

Water in rivers is at serious risk. To meet human demand, more water is being taken from rivers than can naturally be replaced. Climate change, and longer periods of drier weather, alongside population growth mean the problem is escalating. Flow is the master variable in rivers. Removing the flow of water means pollutants become more concentrated, barriers become impassable and temperatures increase. Our rivers are at serious risk of not having enough water to support wildlife including Atlantic salmon.  

Chalk streams are at the frontline of this crisis. Too much water is being taken from these unique habitats, as internationally rare as coral reefs or rainforests. 

Find out more about the impact that low volumes of water has on Atlantic salmon. 

4. Barriers

Man-made barriers including weirs and dams prevent migratory fish such as Atlantic salmon from moving up and down rivers. This interruption to river connectivity means the salmon are unable to complete their journey between fresh and marine water which is an essential part of their life cycle. 

Saving the king of fish

All around the world, people are standing up to protect Atlantic salmon. We can and must do more to save the remarkable Atlantic salmon.

Jeremy Wade, Television presenter and author

“As indicators of river health, Atlantic salmon are giving us a clear message – one that also has implications for human health down the line. The good news is that the trend is reversible if we have the collective will to make it so.”

Marina Gibson, fishing instructor and campaigner

“Collaborative efforts among governments, organisations, and communities are necessary to ensure the long-term survival and recovery of salmon populations. The most magnificent fish is in trouble and we need to act now”. 

Rachel Mulrenan, Scottish Director at WildFish

A world without salmon is a world I cannot bear to imagine. You might not think a fish is worthy of your attention, but it should be. If you care about wildlife at all, this species unites multiple ecosystems.

Find out more...

Atlantic salmon have the most amazing life cycle including an extraordinary transformation! Download our factsheets below to find out more...

Support Us

Support like yours allows our determined campaigning team to fight the destruction caused by open-net salmon farming, pollution and over-abstraction

Find out more

Find out about all the ways in which you can help wild fish…