The Tweed Foundation is a partner to a new project called "Living North Sea", a North Sea Region Programme, European-funded, two-year project principally to discover more about the North Sea Sea-trout stocks. Partners to the project include scientific research organisations from Holland, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Germany, as well as England and Scotland. As such, a PhD student is sought for the project, details of which follow.

Migratory behaviour and survival of Atlantic salmon and Sea-trout stock components

Where they occur in large rivers, Atlantic salmon Salmo salar and sea trout (the anadromous form of brown trout Salmo trutta) stocks often contain several distinct components, characterized by factors such as genetic distinctiveness, life cycle characteristics and migration patterns. Understanding the characteristics and contributions of these stock components is fundamental to conservation and management of exploited stocks in these rivers. This project will use acoustic telemetry and PIT (passive integrated transponder) tagging to measure migration patterns and the fate of downstream migrating juveniles and upstream migrating adults of several distinct salmon and sea trout stock components in the River Tweed, a Special Area of Conservation in the Scottish Borders. This will be linked to information on age, growth and identity of the stock components. As part of this work we aim to measure exploitation rates by anglers as well as other losses on adult salmonids and predation rates by birds and fishes on juveniles. The outputs will be used to improve model assumptions on survival rates and abundance for stock components in the river.

The project, funded largely through the EU, is a collaboration between the Tweed Foundation (Dr Ronald Campbell) and Durham University (Dr Martyn Lucas) and fieldwork will be based from the Tweed Foundation’s headquarters in the river locality. The student will benefit from training in field research, fisheries management, experimental design and communication across both institutions and will have access to state of the art resources, within a highly active research environment.

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