Next up for our SAMARCH student blog posts we have Justin Schoon:
“I was privileged enough to be able to assist the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) again this year, this time for the annual smolt run. It was thoroughly enjoyable working with the staff I worked with the previous summer again as well a couple of staff I didn’t get the chance to work with. I started off working on days with Luke and then shortly moved over to night shifts with Will, both of whom know so much about what they do and are never short of a story to tell. The rest of my time was spent doing nights with Rasmus, who I learnt so much from and got advice from for the future. This was really important to me as I hope to go into fish conservation in the future. Overall, a hugely enjoyable experience once again, and I would like to thank the GWCT and SAMARCH for handing me the opportunity. I hope to be back again for the parr tagging in the summer.”
#BiodiversityDay offers us a chance to highlight the amazing diversity of species with which we share this planet. Today, we would like to showcase the fantastic Salmonid Management Round the Channel (SAMARCH) Interreg-funded, EU project.
There has been a drastic decline in the number of Atlantic salmon in the English Channel and the SAMARCH team have been researching the causes of this decline. Atlantic salmon are an iconic species and form an incredibly important part of the ecosystem of our rivers.
Find out more on the SAMARCH website about the incredible work they are doing here
In March this year, SAMARCH featured at the Family Science Fair at the Dorset Museum in Dorchester as part of British Science Week. Genoveva Esteban, Katie Thompson and students from Bournemouth University ran interactive activities on the life cycle of Atlantic salmon and showed participants how to determine the age of a fish! There was a fantastic turnout and involvement (interaction with >1,000 people!) from all visitors. If you want to know more or take part in next year’s event, please email Genoveva on firstname.lastname@example.org or Katie on email@example.com. Don’t forget to visit the SAMARCH website for more details on the EU Interreg project!
On the 3rd October, Genoveva Esteban and Katie Thompson from the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences and the Interreg EU-funded project SAMARCH (http://theceesresearchgroups.org/samarch) took part in the first ever Weymouth Family Science Festival. They ran three interactive activities at the spectacular location: The Nothe Fort. These included learning about insects, the wonderful life cycle of the Atlantic Salmon as well as the microbial world. They were delighted with the turnout and look forward to more face-to-face events. If you have any questions, please email Katie on firstname.lastname@example.org or Genoveva on email@example.com
SAMARCH is a five-year project with a grant of €5.8m from the EU’s France Channel England Interreg Channel programme.
The SAMARCH project will provide new transferable scientific evidence to inform the management of salmon and sea trout (salmonids) in the estuaries and coastal waters of both the French and English sides of the Channel. It will provide new information to further improve the models used in England and France to manage their salmonid stocks. Although the project involves working on a number of rivers in the Channel area, the majority of the data collection and research will focus on the five salmon and sea trout “Index” rivers in the Channel area. These are the rivers Frome and Tamar in the south of England and the Scorff, Oir and Bresle in northern France. SAMARCH is a five-year project with a grant of €5.8m from the EU’s France Channel England Interreg Channel programme. It involves 10 partners from France and England who are a blend of research and regulatory organisations, and key stakeholders:-
Lead Partner: Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (UK)
University of Exeter (UK)
Bournemouth University (UK)
Environment Agency (UK)
Salmon and Trout Conservation (UK)
Institut National de Recherche Agronomique (France)
Agrocampus Ouest (France)
Agence Française pour la Biodiversité (France)
Normandie Grands Migrateurs (France)
Bretagne Grands Migrateurs (France)
There are four technical work-packages (WP T), a summary of their aims are:-
Technical WP T 1, uses acoustic tracking technology to follow sea trout and salmon smolts through the estuaries of the rivers Frome, Tamar, Scorff and Bresle in the spring of 2018 and 2019 to apportion the mortality rate of smolts between the estuary and the sea. Using both acoustic and data storage tags in sea trout kelts in the Frome, Tamar and Bresle in the winters of 2017 and 2018, to track their movements through the estuary and around the coast.
Technical WP T 2, collects samples of juvenile brown trout from rivers in northern France and the south of England and adult sea trout across the Channel to build a common genetic data base of trout and sea trout to facilitate the identity of the river of origin of sea trout caught at sea. Genetic analysis to identify the sex of large numbers of juvenile and adult salmon and sea trout will feed into models used in the UK and France to manage salmonid stocks. To develop a transferable map based on sea scape in the Channel area to predict which coastal areas are important for sea trout.
Technical WP T 3, involves collecting data on the marine survival of salmonids and modelling this and historic data from the five Index rivers to develop a predictive model for the abundance of returning salmonids. Analysing large numbers of historical adult salmonid scales for changes in growth rates and sex ratio over time and assessing the fecundity of salmonids; these will all feed into the models used to manage salmonid stocks in England and France.
Technical WP T 4, will be used to ensure the results produced by the project inform, improve and develop new policies for the management of salmonids in estuaries and coastal waters. It will engage with stakeholders in both England and France and further afield to maximise the impact of the results generated by the project
Bournemouth University (www.bournemouth.ac.uk) and The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (www.gwct.org.uk) are recruiting a high calibre PhD researcher to work on a three year fully funded studentship investigating changes in the migrations of Atlantic salmon in relation to factors including climate change, with an emphasis on how changes in smolt migrations are impacting survival to spawning adults.
The study will develop flexible multistate state-space mark-recapture models to quantify and then investigate correlates of Atlantic salmon marine survival using data collected on the river Frome, Dorset UK, with the intention of generalising findings to other rivers in Europe.
The successful candidate will have a strong numerical background and some knowledge of salmonids.
On Tuesday 6th February, Bournemouth University Research Associate Katie Thompson from the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences (SciTech) joined the SAMARCH (Salmonid Management round the Channel) team in search of sea trout in the river Frome. The five year EU Interreg Channel Programme funded project (2017-2022) will track juvenile salmon and juvenile and adult sea trout through four English and French estuaries to fill the gaps in our knowledge of how quickly fish migrate through intertidal habitat, their migration pathways and where adult sea trout spend time at sea. Currently, 95% of our salmon and sea trout die at sea, compared to only 75% in the 1970s. The project aims to answer the question of what proportion of this mortality occurs in estuaries and coastal waters compared to the open sea by using small acoustic and data storage tags. The project includes 10 partners from France and England who are a blend of research and regulatory organisations, and key stakeholders (Bournemouth University, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, University of Exeter, INRA Science & Impact, Environment Agency, Salmon and Trout Conservation, Agro Campus, Agence française pour la biodiversité, Normandie grands migrateurs, Obersvatoire des poissons migrateurs Bretagne).