The Oronoz-Mugairi fish farm of the Government of Navarra hosted on January 2 the spawning of five salmon (four females and one male) sponsored under the volunteer program “Sponsor a salmon from Bidasoa / Izan ziatez Bidasoko izokiaren babesle”, promoted by the Foral executive with the objective of recovering the species.
Spawning (laying eggs and sperm) has been carried out by technical personnel of this facility, where the specimens have remained since spring, and the five fishermen who sponsored the specimens have also been present at the event.
The program was promoted by the General Directorate of the Environment through the LIFE IREKIBAI project, which coordinates the public company Environmental Management of Navarra / Nafarroako Ingurumen Kudeaketa (GAN / NIK), to meet a demand for salmon fishermen. Through this initiative, framed in the protocol of river custody signed between several fishing associations of the Bidasoa basin and the General Directorate of the Environment, the Government of Navarra offers the necessary support so that fishermen who wish to do so can voluntarily donate salmon that capture the Guarderío de Medio Ambiente alive.
Development of the program
The sponsor fisherman can choose whether the salmon is marked with an issuer and subsequently released into the river to participate in the study of the species, or prefers that the salmon be moved to the Mugairi fish farm to become one of the breeders that will produce fry with which to repopulate the Bidasoa, thus reinforcing the natural population of the species.
The five godfathers chose to move the salmon to the farm where, after receiving preventive treatments against infections and wound healing, they successfully recovered.
The balance that the Government of Navarra makes of this first campaign of the program is “very positive”, since fishermen have been significantly involved and actively participated in this initiative. Thus, of the 47 salmon that were caught during the fishing season, five were donated alive (11% of the catches), and there were also other attempts in which, despite the effort of the fishermen to catch them alive, the salmon They could not survive the fishing set.
Due to the weight and size of the specimens, it is estimated that they will be able to produce around 40,000 eggs, which will give rise to fry that will be repopulated in the Bidasoa river from next spring, when they reach the appropriate size and weight.
After the good reception of this first campaign of the program, the Government of Navarra expects more fishermen to join the project in the next season. In this way, the collaboration between fishermen and the Administration in the promotion of sustainable fishing, necessary to definitively recover salmon stocks, is reinforced.