Video launch: Successful collaborative partnerships see Salmon return to Humber Rivers for the first time in over 100 years

Jayne Mann


The Green Port Hull Fish Mitigation Project has helped salmon and other migratory fish reach new spawning grounds for the first time in over 100 years and their return is proving a boon for the local environment and in turn, the economy.

The Rivers Trust, Environment Agency and Associated British Ports (ABP) worked together on this £180,000 project to improve fish migration from the Humber estuary. To see exactly how this multi-agency approach benefitted local wildlife, you can watch the newly launched video here:

The project took place in order to mitigate the possible impacts on migratory fish resulting from the Green Port Hull Project, which was completed in January 2017 and resulted in the employment of over 1,000 jobs for the area.

The Humber Estuary handles over 80 million tonnes of cargo on an annual basis and thanks to projects such as this, the estuary continues to support a growing population of wildlife. Salmon, trout and other migrating fish now use the estuary to reach spawning habitats, benefiting both the environment and the economy.

Barry Bendall, Director of Water and Land at The Rivers Trust said: “Man-made structures such as weirs, cut-off miles of valuable spawning and nursery habitat for fish. Projects delivered as part of the Green Port Hull scheme have enabled salmon and other fish species to return to these areas for the first time in several generations - providing real benefits to both people and wildlife.

“The connectivity of habitat within the Humber river basin has greatly improved thanks to this partnership project. Since the interventions took place in both the River Don and Burn, salmon have been seen returning to their original spawning grounds for the first time in over 100 years, which is just fantastic to hear.

“The recent dry weather has put extra pressure on our rivers but by restoring natural processes in rivers, they can improve their resilience to dry spells. By removing dams and restoring fish migration, it allows fish to move to safe habitats and prevents them being trapped in reaches of rivers where they may become stranded. It also reduces the amount of pollution that concentrates in low flows.”

Simon Bird, Regional Director for ABP Humber said: “The Fish Mitigation Project has been a real success and we are really pleased to have been able to deliver this project with The Rivers Trust and The Environment Agency. Through this fund, local Rivers Trusts have delivered five projects on the Humber estuary, implementing fish passages, or where possible, removing the weir completely.

“Estimates suggest that every rod-caught salmon could be worth thousands of pounds to the local economy – really demonstrating that projects like this are a win-win for both the environment and economy.”

So far, five migration projects have been delivered, opening up more than 70km of river and spawning habitat. The original grant of £180,000 from ABP resulted in more than £2 million additional funding from other sources including heritage grants.

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