A minute of the Pacific pink salmon workshop held in Edinburgh on 21 September 2017 can be viewed here.
The meeting was opened by Professor Colin Bean (Scottish Natural Heritage), who introduced the broad aims of the workshop. These were to ensure that we:
a) Understood the history of Pink salmon introductions within northern Russia and western Europe, the scale of historical catches around this area and the nature of catches made in 2017. These may help to inform our views as to what might be expected in future (possibly odd) years;
b) Had a common understanding of Pink salmon ecology, species plasticity, invasiveness and implications of phenological change. This type of basic information has been used to develop the existing Risk Assessments for this species in UK and Europe;
c) Were aware of current surveillance and management measures in use across Europe. The workshop would examine their efficacy and explore the potential use of new monitoring tools (such as. eDNA); and
d) Would, at the end of the workshop, be in a position where we can Identify knowledge gaps, and identify how these can be addressed – and by whom.
The minute provides a brief summary of pink salmon introductions in Northern Russia and the probable source of fish captured in western Europe over the last 60 years. It gives specific details of the situation in 2017, with each participating country providing a description of catch, management measures in place and a statement about the availability of data and biological material.
The ecology of the pink salmon is discussed and compared to that of the Atlantic salmon. A summary of discussions relating to how this type of information can be used to determine whether pink salmon may establish in the UK, Ireland and other parts of western Europe is also provided.
The risk assessment process is explained. It should be a dynamic process which allows re-assessment as new data becomes available. Risk assessment should be used to inform decision makers and are not a decision making tool. They deal with the adverse impacts only and are based on current information and climatic conditions, not future scenarios.
The outputs from four themed breakout sessions considering ‘drivers for management’ are summarised. These were:
a) Data gathering and evidence;
c) Interactions; and
Finally, the minute provides an overall summary of the workshop and its outcomes.