Ulcerative Dermal Necrosis

At the end of the 19th century in the United Kingdom one particular disease was considered a significant threat to certain wild salmon fisheries and data gathered from these fish provided the basis of a detailed description of the condition known today as ulcerative dermal necrosis (UDN). Historically UDN has occurred in IrelandFranceSweden and Norway but in the UK this condition had largely disappeared or was not reported since the 1970s.  Research from this period suggests that UDN can persist for 3-4 years in individual rivers and then disappear.

Recently, Marine Scotland Science diagnosed ulcerative dermal necrosis (UDN) from Atlantic salmon stock that originated from the River Spey. Sea trout are also susceptible. This condition is a naturally occurring condition of wild fish and despite significant research no recognised cause including no link to an infectious agent.  Furthermore UDN has never been reported from farmed fish.

UDN is believed to start during homeward migration and is primarily a lesion of epidermal and dermal layers of the head area.  Confirmation requires histological examination of early skin lesions which is considered the only specific signs of the disease.  However, secondary infection by Saprolegnia,  a normal part of the river ecological system, reduces the likelihood of a correct diagnosis.

Marine Scotland will cooperate with District Salmon Fishery Boards and will monitor any further incidents.  Further information can be obtained by contacting Marine Scotland at

More information can be found in the UDN topic sheet.




Scottish wild salmon is to join the likes of Parma ham, Melton Mowbray pork pies and champagne in becoming a protected product.

Salmon during the journey up the Tweed river in the Scottish Borders
The ruling means salmon caught in other countries cannot be called Scottish wild salmon

The fish is to be granted protected geographical indication (PGI) status, meaning it has a particular quality attributable to its place of origin.

It means salmon caught in other countries cannot be packaged, sold or advertised as Scottish wild salmon.

The ruling by the European Commission comes into effect in 20 days.

Scottish farmed salmon was awarded PGI status in 2004.

Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation chief executive Scott Landsburgh said:

“PGI status has helped to enhance the reputation of farmed salmon in major export markets.

“It is a good promotional tool and helps to protect against imitation.

“We hope the new award for Scottish wild salmon brings commercial success too.”

The salmon will join a list of about 1,000 products which are protected by the legislation, including Scottish beef and lamb.

Story by BBC 

Row Over Salmon Sea Lice Research

The study examined the survival rates of free ranging salmon

A row has broken out over research that suggested large numbers of free ranging salmon are being killed by parasitic sea lice in European waters every year.

The international study involving the University of St Andrews said the parasite was responsible for an average of 39% of all salmon deaths at sea.

Angling groups claimed this confirmed the impact of fish farms on salmon.

The Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO) and St Andrews have now clashed over the results.

The SSPO has written to the university demanding a retraction of the press release issued to publicise the research, and also an apology.

The organisation said ocean mortality of salmon was widely recognised to be at more than 95%, with sea lice representing 1-2% of deaths according to previous scientific studies.

It added that declines in numbers of wild salmon to Scottish rivers to spawn had affected the east coast, where there are no salmon farms, as well as other parts of the country.

Prof Phil Thomas, chairman of SSPO, accused the university of making “a major blunder”.

The University of St Andrews said it stood by its part in the research and its press release.

It added:

“The central, unequivocal finding of this research paper, as presented in our press release, is that parasites such as sea lice are responsible for an average of 39% of all salmon deaths at sea.”

Story Reported by the BBC

Spawning Salmon Oil Painting

FWN Reporter Colin Statter is also an artist who paints fantastic Oil Paintings of Wildlife in Various Natural Landscapes



 I did my latest painting  depicting salmon on the the spawning beds pairing up, it was a private commission, it’s now hanging up in a well known Fisherman’s,  farmhouse.
This time of year the Atlantic salmon are making there way up river to their native spawning Burns where they once were born, a magnificent time of the season.
The picture depicts two hen salmon and a nature red cock salmon in all their glorious seasonal colours with the autumn leaves flowing through the crystal clear waters of the River Teith.

FWN Reporter Colin Statter is also a talented Artist
who paints wildlife and nature scenes.

Christ Tarrant Hands Over Petition to Fisheries


TV host Chris Tarrant and UK Music boss Feargal Sharkey to join petition handover to Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon.

Campaigners from the world of angling will be joined by celebrities Chris Tarrant and Feargal Sharkey when they handover a 16,000 signature petition on Wednesday (22nd Feb) calling for action to limit the devastating impact of the UK’s rapidly increasing cormorant population and its effect on inland freshwater habitat and ecosystems.

Scientists have calculated that each cormorant needs at least a pound of fish a day to survive, and there are now an estimated 23,000 non-native invasive cormorants over-wintering in the UK from Holland, Denmark and other parts of Europe compared to a couple of thousand in the 1980s. This means that at least 23,000lbs of our freshwater fish get eaten EVERY DAY throughout the winter – a total and unsustainable loss of 2,760,000lbs of fish every winter causing damage to our native bio-diversity.

The petition has been organised by the Avon Roach Project headed by Trevor Harrop and Budgie Price and ably assisted and supported by internationally renowned wildlife film maker Hugh Miles who are working to try and re-establish healthy roach populations in their local river Avon after heavy cormorant predation contributed to numbers crashing to critical levels between Salisbury and Christchurch. Their efforts are strongly supported by the Angling Trust as the single representative body for angling in England and the Salmon and Trout Association.

Click Here For Full Story



This predatory bird has a grace in the water.
They have been recorded of taking 86 different species of fish from tiny fry to 2 and a half foot conger eel.
The cormorant has an elasticated throat pouch and a specially hinged beak, one bird was recorded eating a waste filled plastic bag, and one with an 11 inch kitten in it’s stomach.
Since 1967 it’s had legal protection, the impact it has had on fish stocks and illegal persecution has become important envirmental issues.

Black Cormorant

It’s estimated that their is as high as 15 to 20,000 inland birds, they can eat roughly 12 to 31 Oz,s of fish and can dive to 31 feet.
Where birds can be proven to have serious impact on fish stocks, licences to shoot are granted, in 1996/ 79 licences were issued in England and scotland, 424 birds year 2000 .
Studies must be done to see what impact fish predators have on fish stocks, fish could be lost through other causes where there is a high fish density
Where their is major cormorant impact on fish stocks their needs to be a controlled number reduction.

For More Info on the Cormorant Click Here

Story by Colin Statter: FWN Reporter