Sea trout fisheries in parts of Western Britain, including the Irish Sea, are suffering decline; but the pattern is mixed and in most cases the causes of change and thus the solutions are poorly understood. So we need answers to the question outlined above.
The Celtic Sea Trout Project is a groundbreaking, €2 million, multi-agency partnership investigation into the sea trout stocks and fisheries of the rivers entering the Irish Sea. The project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Programme (INTERREG 4A). The active fieldwork programme will take place over three years from April 2010.
Lead agencies in the bid are the Inland Fisheries Ireland (Ireland) and Bangor University (Wales, and the overall lead partner).
There are major unanswered questions in the understanding of sea trout, namely:
- where do they go at sea and how are their stocks structured and interlinked?
- what is their marine ecology (feeding, growth, survival and life history variation)?
- what environmental and other pressures are they exposed to?
- how do their life histories (and thus fishery quality) respond to environmental variation?
The CSTP intends to provide this missing knowledge and to translate it into fishery and conservation benefits for countries bordering the Irish Sea.