AnglingTrust The voice of Angling

Help Save Our Wrasse

The Angling Trust has launched a national campaign calling for an immediate closure of the live capture wrasse fishery supplying live wrasse to the Scottish salmon farming industry. And we want you to get involved!

Wrasse are used as cleaner fish to remove parasitic sea lice from farmed salmon as an alternative to pesticides. However, wrasse are very difficult to breed in captivity and consequently tens of thousands of wrasse are now being captured live from around the coasts of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire and Sussex every year and shipped up to Scotland.
Little is known about the sustainability of wrasse populations and what impact commercial scale harvesting will have on marine ecosystems where wrasse play an important role.

However, anecdotal evidence suggests the hugely expensive operation of shipping wrasse live from the South West of England to Scotland is only necessary because localised Scottish wrasse stocks have already been depleted by the demand from salmon farms.

Wrasse are highly important recreational angling species and play an important role in the resident and tourist angling activity which supports thousands of jobs throughout the South West of England. What’s more, generations of young anglers fish for wrasse as they enter the sport and recent years have seen an exciting new development of specialist lure angling for wrasse.

Danny Parkins with wrasse

Well respected sea angler and campaign supporter Danny Parkins with a fine Ballan wrasse caught from southwest England. Specimens like this could become much rarer if the commercial wrasse fishery is allowed to continue. Photo credit: Danny Parkins.

The relevant IFCAs - the Cornwall IFCA, Devon & Severn IFCA, Southern IFCA, Sussex IFCA and Isles of Scilly IFCA – have developed a variety of management proposals to manage the wrasse fishery. However, the Angling Trust believes that the use of wild wrasse captured from England in Scottish salmon farms is a completely unsustainable and appalling use of a publically owned marine resource. Consequently, we do not feel that managing the live capture wrasse fishery is sufficient.

The Angling Trust is calling for the relevant IFCAs to instigate a complete closure of the live-capture wrasse fishery in the districts under their control on a precautionary basis.

Get involved!

We want you to help by signing our petition to the IFCAs and by writing to your local councillors who sit on the IFCA committees and telling them how important wrasse are as a recreational angling species.

Click here to sign the petition and click here to download the template letter. Follow instructions below to send an email to the local councillors who sit on the IFCAs in the South and West...

Although we have created some text available at the links above and on the right of this page, your email or letter to local councillors will have more impact if you add in some of your personal experiences.

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Adam Kirby with wrasse

Well-respected wrasse angler Adam Kirby above, is throwing his full weight behind the Angling Trust's Help Save Our Wrasse Campaign.

This campaign is proudly supported by:

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Contact: Angling Trust Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 8DQ
Tel: 0343 5077006 (For Membership enquiries select Option 1) |
Calls to our 0343 number are charged at the same rate as normal landline numbers.
Office hours are Mon - Thu 9.00-5.00 and Fri 4.30. Please leave a message if you call outside these hours or email us.
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Angling Trust Limited is a company limited by guarantee, company number 05320350

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