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Kolarctic Salmon – Trilateral cooperation on our common resource; the Atlantic salmon in the Barents region (KO197)
Funded by Kolarctic ENPI 2007-2013

Objective of the project

The project’s overall objective was to develop and enhance the management of the shared Atlantic salmon resource in the Barents region and to enable a future adaptive, sustainable and knowledge-based harvesting regime. This enables the conservation of the rich fishing traditions and coastal culture of the area and preserves the highly important regional and local socio-economy of the coastal fisheries, and minimizes the mixed-stock fishery in areas when needed to preserve declining and vulnerable stocks. The project will merge traditional, local knowledge with new ecological, and genetic salmon research in Norway, Russia and Finland. Specific objectives: • Design and develop future long-term, adaptive, sustainable and knowledge-based salmon harvesting regime between Norway, Russia and Finland. • Address the challenges of adaptation to climate change and salmon abundance. • Enhance cooperation between management, researchers and salmon fishers and fishing organizations. • Promote and provide new scientifically sound knowledge and results on the Atlantic salmon stocks to management authorities, research and the general public.

Main activities

Task 1. Design and implement two harmonised, optimal and cost-effective sampling programmes for; adult and juvenile Atlantic salmon populations in the project area. Task 2. Biological and genetic analyses of coastal and riverine salmon samples. The task involved e.g. 14000 juvenile in-river samples and c. 25000 adult salmon scale samples analysed with an optimised 31 microsatellite marker set. Assigning individual adult salmon to river/ region of origin. Task 3. Combine genetic, biological and environmental information into a salmon mig.ration model that will allow for a more precise and sustainable management in the future Task 4. Project management, communication and wide activities to disseminate the information and project results.


The project conducted the most comprehensive genetic study of salmon so far, and produced scientifically sound and jointly aggregated data. (Altogether, when combining samples from 2008-2012, 20 976 salmon from the Norwegian and 2259 salmon from the Russian coastal fishery catches sampled were successfully genotyped (with minimum of 26 loci) and included in further statistical analyses). The researchers mapped the genetic structure of the salmon in the project area. They ascertained the migratory patterns of different salmon stocks regarding time and space along the coastal lines of the Barents and White Seas. They also provided an overview of the salmon resources in terms of salmon catches. The results are available for the relevant authorities in each country when they discuss future salmon management.

Basic information