An anglerImage copyright Natural Resources Wales
Image caption NRW said about 60% of salmon was already released on a voluntary basis

Anglers in Wales have been asked to release all the salmon they catch in a bid to conserve fish stocks.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) made the “urgent” request and described the number of salmon in Welsh rivers as “cause for serious concern”.

Habitat damage, pollution and illegal exploitation have put additional pressures on fish stocks, it said.

Dave Mee, senior fisheries advisor for NRW, said the survival of salmon at sea was at an “historic low”.

He added: “Most anglers are already voluntarily releasing the fish they catch but we feel the situation is now so serious for salmon that we must ask all anglers to release all of their salmon.

“Anglers releasing their fish is one of the most effective way to help safeguard our stocks by allowing more fish to survive and spawn.”

An annual assessment of fish stocks in 2016 showed all but two – the Severn and Usk – of the 23 salmon rivers in Wales were “at risk” or “probably at risk”.

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