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Wild Salmonid Support Fund

Grant size Up to £35,000
All of Scotland
Key dates  
Opens: The fund is currently closed for applications and will re-launch in 2023

About this fund

The Wild Salmonid Support Fund, a partnership between Salmon Scotland and Fisheries Management Scotland, has been established to prioritise the investments of the salmon farming sector in Scotland aimed at tackling the decline of wild salmon and sea trout in Scottish rivers. Both sectors have been delivering this work as part of each sector’s interests to support and conserve the habitats of wild salmonids in Scotland.

The fund is a 5-year programme that will see £1.5 million invested by Salmon Scotland to support the status of wild salmon and sea trout stocks in Scottish rivers and enhance wild fisheries. The programme will award £120,000 in its second year (2022).  

Salmon Scotland and Fisheries Management Scotland recognise and share the concerns over the overall declining status of wild salmonids in Scottish rivers. Scotland has a rich history of salmon resources and this heritage is reliant on ensuring a long-term future for wild salmonid stocks. We recognise that today’s Scottish salmon farming sector enjoys its strong reputation and success partly due to this wild salmonid heritage. It is in our joint interests to ensure that the shared connected waters where the salmon farming industry operates are as good an environment for wild salmonids as they should be. 

Building on the work undertaken by Salmon Scotland and Fisheries Management Scotland as part of the Scottish Government Salmon Interactions Working Group, we are committed to developing a productive working relationship between sectors. Our relationship will deliver improved habitats for wild salmonids through the establishment of this fund, and by our collective actions demonstrate our commitment to the wellbeing of the shared spaces. The working arrangement we are entering into will respect the independence of both parties in respect to policy, statutory planning processes and future operational matters not associated with the fund.

To learn more about the fund, including details of the projects funded in 2021 and information on applying, please watch our video guide to the fund by clicking this link (opens in YouTube).

Purpose of this fund

The fund will invest in projects which benefit wild salmon and sea trout stocks in Scottish rivers and enhance wild fisheries in the shared connected waters where the salmon farming sector operates. Grants of between £10,000 and £35,000 will be available in year two. Individual projects should be completed with 18 months of the project being awarded funds.

Projects of the following (practical) nature are priorities for this programme:

  • Practical projects which meet the objective of enhancing wild fisheries habitats
  • Innovative projects that allow aquaculture technology and wild fish sector expertise to be deployed for wild salmonid development.
  • Quantifying hazards and securing the ability to measure potential impacts better.

Applications are open to all organisations with an interest in benefiting wild salmon and sea trout stocks, though applications are especially encouraged from organisations that have or can demonstrate a proven track record of successfully developing, coordinating and delivering projects.

The fund will support the delivery of capital and feasibility work linked to successful projects.  

All projects will be expected to demonstrate a strong focus on evaluation to support the lessons learned process and where appropriate the identification and promotion of best practices.

Additional criteria

The programme is open to applications covering rivers in the space shared between aquaculture and wild fisheries. Whilst the programme is open to applications from across Scotland, priority will be given to applications covering the aquaculture zone on the West Coast of Scotland. Please click to view a map of active aquaculture sites across Scotland.

Who can apply?

The fund welcomes applications from the following:

  • Bodies that are members of Fisheries Management Scotland 

  • Constituted voluntary or community groups

  • Registered charities

  • Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (SCIO)

  • Social Enterprises

  • Community Interest Companies (CIC)

  • Not-for-profit organisations

What can you apply for?
  • Volunteer expenses

  • A proportionate contribution to existing staff time*

  • External technical expertise (contractor/specialist support)

  • Miscellaneous start-up costs

  • Capital costs of restoration efforts

  • Small items of equipment where these are needed to deliver enhancements or restoration

  • Development costs for technologies or equipment

  • Moderate short-term staff costs to leverage additional funding will be considered

  • Restocking programmes and activities which are consistent with any current Marine Scotland stocking policy

* Please note that the fund will consider a proportionate contribution to existing staff time that will be applied to the project that is being applied for. Please consider using a full cost recovery model when creating your budget.

What can’t be funded?

  • Salary costs for funding new or existing permanent members of staff, although applications can include a proportionate contribution for existing staff time, if that is specifically required for, and applied to, the project being applied for.

  • Applications from individuals

  • Purely academic projects

  • Activities out with Scotland

  • Political parties 

  • Activities that seek to replace statutory sources of funding

  • Pre-existing costs that your organisation incurs as a result of your day to day activities

  • Activities contrary to the interests of Salmon Scotland or any companies in its group; 

  • Activities that are likely to bring Foundation Scotland, Salmon Scotland or any companies in its group into disrepute. 

  • Anti-fish farming activities

How are decisions made?

To support the shortlisting process an independent peer review advisory panel has been established in partnership with the Scottish Government and Academia. The panel has been approved jointly by Salmon Scotland and Fisheries Management Scotland.

The Awards Panel will meet annually to consider grant awards, with representation from Salmon Scotland and Fisheries Management Scotland. An independent chair, appointed by Foundation Scotland, will support decision making.

Frequently asked questions

How to apply

This fund is now closed for applications.

If you have any queries regarding this fund, please contact the Fund Adviser (details below).

Contact information

Contact name

Mercedes Green, Fund Adviser

Fund news