UK Atlantic salmon now reclassified as endangered species

We’re saddened to learn this week that the updated IUCN Red List released at COP28 revealed that Atlantic salmon populations in the UK are now classified as endangered. Put plainly, the UK is set to lose this species first and before anywhere else unless urgent action is taken!

A resilient fish with a challenging existence- the Atlantic salmon begins its life in freshwater and transitions to the sea as adults, before returning to their ‘home’ river to spawn. Populations have been significantly impacted over time due to over-fishing, river pollution and habitat loss.

This recent news serves as a timely reminder of the urgent need for responsible environmental stewardship to reverse the tide and secure a future where this species can thrive like it once did, which drives our mission at FiveRivers to protect and enhance our natural capital to prevent species from facing endangerment.

We spoke with Will Greenacre, our Principal Aquatic Ecologist to get his thoughts on this news, Will said,

“The reclassification of the UK population of Atlantic salmon as endangered by the IUCN Red List is disheartening but has long been anticipated amongst environmental professionals. Globally, the future of this species, and our aquatic ecosystems that are the lifeblood of our landscape, are in crisis and teeter on the urgent need for better enforcement and innovative conservation management. We must all act collectively to curb the demise of this iconic species.”


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