North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization | est 1984


PINKTrack – co-ordinated environmental DNA (eDNA) surveillance for pink salmon in the European Union.

At the 2022 and 2023 meetings of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO) serious concerns were raised about the ongoing and future threat of non-native pink salmon to native wild Atlantic salmon stocks in the Convention areas. There has been an unprecedented occurrence of pink salmon over a wide geographical scale in all Convention areas since 2017, predominately in odd-years. Of particular concern is that self-sustaining pink salmon populations have become established in northern Norwegian rivers in recent years and in some rivers there they have been reported to out-number co-existing Atlantic salmon stocks. Since 2019, an explosive population growth in pink salmon stocks has been observed both in northern Norway and in the adjacent White Sea basin of northwestern Russia, where this non-native species was originally introduced. This has raised additional concern, that as a consequence, pink salmon may more commonly be encountered and have the potential to establish populations in adjacent and more southerly EU member states. This project intends to address these concerns under the beneficiary of NASCO, through a consortium comprised of state agencies and research institutes based in EU jurisdictions which is supported by technical expertise from Norway. The project will undertake work to better understand the extent of occurrence of pink salmon in EU waters through the use of environmental DNA (eDNA), which will enable it to elucidate temporal and geographic patterns of spread and provide an ‘early warning system’ of their presence to inform appropriate management responses.

To address these issues, the following work packages (WP) will comprise the project:

  • WP1 – eDNATrack
  • WP2 – SurveillTrack
  • WP3 – ProjectTrack
  • WP4 – Management and Co-ordination

The following EU jurisdictions will participate in the project:

  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Spain
  • Sweden

The following areas outside EU will participate in the project:

  • Norway