The Galloway Fisheries Trust (GFT) has been commissioned by Natural England to produce a Smelt Recovery Management Plan for the Solway Firth Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ). The Solway Firth MCZ was designated in May 2019 and has the fish species European smelt (Osmerus eperlanus) as a feature.
The intention of designating MCZs in England is to help protect the remaining populations of smelt and prevent further loss or decline of populations. The designation and subsequent protections also aim to allow numbers of smelt to recover where they are known to have declined.
This report provides a framework and plan for restoring smelt to the Solway Firth MCZ and has the wider aim of rolling the plan on to other MCZs with smelt as a feature.
GFT has worked primarily with Solway Firth Partnership and Steve Colclough (SC2) to produce this management plan.
SC2 was contracted by Natural England to work alongside GFT and provide some wider perspective on smelt.
This report is composed of two parts: Part 1 – Smelt Management: a National Perspective; and Part 2 – Smelt management in the Solway Firth MCZ.