Brown trout are helping to protect Scotland’s environment

A new study by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has identified that Scotland's brown trout population can help understanding of the extent and effects of chemical contaminants in the Scottish environment, thereby helping to shape the approach to future environmental protection.

SEPA's 'Persistent Organic Pollutants in Scottish Freshwater Biota' study looked at those species which could be used as potential "biomonitors".  In this study, SEPA scientists assessed a number of species of freshwater fish and other organisms that live in Scotland's rivers and established that brown trout could be used as a viable biomonitor to complement the existing monitoring of eels. 

The high fat content and long life-span of eels make them ideally suited for monitoring levels of the fat-loving Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in Scottish freshwater environments. But eel populations are declining across Europe, and this has lead to a search for suitable alternative species to be used as biomonitors, such as brown trout.

Further details on the study can be found here: http://www.sepa.org.uk/about_us/news/2011/how_scotland%e2%80%99s_brown_trout_is.aspx