Some of the ways in which man can help fish to overcome barriers will be explored at a Conference to be held at the Royal Armouries in Leeds between 14th and 16th October. 

The 2008 Conference of the Institute of Fisheries Management is sponsored by Yorkshire Water, Environment Agency, APEM and ARUPS. 

The theme for the conference is Breaking Down Barriers – these can be physical, chemical or biological barriers to successful fisheries, together with barriers such as poor communication, lack of understanding or co-operation.  

The aim is to promote a greater understanding of our valuable aquatic environments and to encourage sustainable improvements to these vulnerable communities within the whole of the British Isles and throughout the world. 

Yorkshire has a wealth of good fishing that brings much revenue to rural areas, and also a number of fish farms. However, much greater  contributions could be made if we manage our fisheries better, for example restoring salmon to Yorkshire or improving fish passage by the installation of fish passes. In recognising this, Yorkshire Water PLC has agreed to be a main sponsor of the Conference.  

The choice of location is particularly appropriate given the recovery of the River Aire in recent years, and the work funded by Yorkshire Water to improve fish passage at various weirs. Salmon have recently been caught in the lower Aire and with further improvements it is hoped that these iconic fish will once again swim through Leeds on their way to spawn in the upper river.  

Ian Dolben, Chair of the Organising Committee said 

“I am sure that there are those who look forward to the day when salmon will swim past members of the public as they sip their Cappuccinos in central Leeds. This conference provides the opportunity to discuss the various barriers to successful fisheries, and more importantly, how to overcome them.”