Journal Article

Atlantic salmon ranching: past problems and future management

A. Isaksson, S. Oskarsson, S. M. Einarsson and J. Jonasson

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 54, issue 6, pages 1188-1199
Published in print December 1997 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online December 1997 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI:
Atlantic salmon ranching: past problems and future management

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  • Marine and Estuarine Biology


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Straying of ranched salmon into rivers in Iceland has given cause for concern because of ecological, genetic, and disease effects on wild stocks. More than 96% of returning Icelandic ranched salmon are harvested at ranching stations. Over 80% of the strays into salmon rivers occurs on the west coast in the area where most of the ranching stations have been located. In that area the ranched component in rivers ranged from <1% to >20% (average 4.4%) of the population, depending on proximity to the ranching sites. Combined strays from river enhancement and from the west coast rivers into the ranching stations averaged 2.5% (97.5% recovered in rivers), which corresponds to 1.0% of the total harvest at ranching stations. Strays of enhanced populations were at least three times more numerous in ranching stations than strays of wild salmon. Eighty-nine to ninety-seven percent of the ranched salmon returning to ranching stations were recaptured in the station of release. Strayers from other ranching stations in the catches of individual ranching stations comprised 2–13% of the catch with the extent of straying being more related to harvest methods and the location of the ranching station than to homing accuracy. Biological and social concerns regarding the harvesting methods at ranching stations, increased illegal fishing effort as a result of ranching and a put-and-take fishery for ranched salmon, which has been developing in Iceland since the late 1980s are discussed. The management implications of these practices are considered as well as possible solutions to the problems associated with ranching.

Keywords: Atlantic salmon management; Atlantic salmon ranching; interaction of salmon; ocean ranching; straying of salmon

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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