S&TA campaign website

THREE new websites launched recently by the  salmon and sea trout angling lobby are worth bookmarking.

While the general objectives of the sites are not identical, there is a common topic which is clear – the ongoing campaign to raise awareness of the risks of untrammeled expansion of inshore salmon farming to wild migratory fish.

The first, by the Salmon & Trout Association (S&TA), one of the UK’s oldest and most respected game fishing charities, entitled STAnd Up  For  Wild Salmon went live  earlier this summer.

The crisply-designed, well illustrated and easy to navigate platform, which claims to be interactive, fast-moving and regularly updated,  is the first site aimed solely at establishing an online resource to challenge the aquaculture industry’s assertion that it is in no way to blame for the decline in Scottish west coast Atlantic salmon catches.

Janina Gray, website project leader and head of science at the S&TA, says:

Janina Gray S&TA
Janina Gray, S&TA head of science

“The S&TA Aquaculture Campaign doesn’t aim to close down fish farming, but to move the salmon farming industry towards a more environmentally sustainable position, with particular emphasis on protecting wild salmon and sea trout from the impacts of poorly-operated and regulated fish farming. This interactive website is designed to engage as well as inform users.

“The S&TA is investing tens of thousands of pounds in the fight against damaging fish farming practices in Scotland, and it is absolutely essential that as many concerned people as possible support this campaign.”

The other two websites mark online facelifts for the Association of Salmon Fishery Boards (ASFB) and the Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland (RAFTS), closely linked organisations which are playing a major role in the campaign to force the Government to tighten the regulations surrounding marine-based salmon farming.

Callum Sinclair, Director of RAFTS says: “There is a great deal of good work taking place across Scotland in support of our freshwater fish, fisheries and habitats to protect and improve them now and for the future.

“We want these new websites to be places where anyone interested can hear of some of this work and of the range of challenges and issues being faced and other developments important to ASFB, RAFTS and their members.  It is important to us that as wide a range of partners, interested bodies and individuals know what is actually taking place in the complicated world of fisheries management.”

The two sites apply distinctly different designs, but the ASFB platform with its funereal white-text-on-black background, bears something of a resemblance to the S&TA campaign website and struggles a little to present its many and varied policies in digestible chunks.

While it scores a major hit with its online news blog and downloadable newsletters, there is a missed opportunity to offer an RSS feed for updated content.