May 27, 2019
South Esk, New Brunswick – Wild Atlantic salmon is a keystone species, integral to the history and culture of many Atlantic Canadians communities. However, in many geographic areas, Atlantic salmon stocks have been declining. Significant and co-ordinated action is needed to restore and maintain healthy wild Atlantic salmon populations for future generations.
That is why the Government of Canada, along with partners, is taking action and today, the Parliamentary Secretary the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Sean Casey, along with the Member of Parliament for Miramichi - Grand Lake, Pat Finnigan, introduced the Wild Atlantic Salmon Conservation Policy’s implementation plan for 2019-2021. This plan encourages cooperation, collaboration and engagement to ensure we are maximizing the impact of efforts aimed at restoring and maintaining this iconic species.
In collaboration with provincial governments, Indigenous communities, watershed associations, angling groups and other partners, we continue our efforts to implement Canada’s Wild Atlantic Salmon Conservation Policy for the long-term benefit of the species.
Equally important is scientific research underway to understand the decline of Atlantic salmon. The Government of Canada is investing in Atlantic salmon science and is announcing today four new research under the Atlantic Salmon Research Joint Venture. Researchers at Dalhousie University, the Atlantic Salmon Federation, Acadia University and the University of New Brunswick will study areas such as ocean tracking, locations and causes of at-sea mortality, the impact of climate change on fitness and survival, and predation and competition.
Throughout 2019 and beyond, the Government of Canada will continue to take action to support salmon conservation in Eastern Canada. Putting this plan into action will help further our goals to improve wild Atlantic salmon populations, and secure the long term health of the species now and for future generations of Canadians.
“Improving the health of wild Atlantic salmon populations will take a coordinated effort from all levels of government, and communities throughout Atlantic Canada and Quebec. The actions announced today, including the Implementation Plan and new investments in science, will chart a path forward to ensure wild salmon are present for our kids and grandkids.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“Conserving wild Atlantic salmon stocks is a shared responsibility. The Government of Canada, along with our partners, will build on this work to find sustainable solutions that will reverse the trend for wild Atlantic salmon.”
Sean Casey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for Charlottetown
The Wild Atlantic Salmon Policy 2019-2021 Implementation Plan is a result of the work of the Atlantic Salmon Advisory Committee, which included representatives of all provincial governments in Atlantic Canada, Indigenous groups, watershed associations, and various non-governmental organizations.
The Atlantic Salmon Research Joint Venture is Canada’s first collaborative forum for bringing the Atlantic salmon science community together in Canada. Comprised of experts from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Indigenous groups, provincial agencies, non-government organizations, academic institutions, and other stakeholders, the Atlantic Salmon Research Joint Venture is promoting collaborative salmon research, and the sharing of scientific information with the goal of conserving and rebuilding the species.
The new projects announced today, endorsed by the Atlantic Salmon Research Joint Venture are led by Dalhousie University, the Atlantic Salmon Federation, Acadia University and the University of New Brunswick.
- Atlantic Salmon Federation: Continued tracking of Atlantic salmon and where they go during their years at sea by tagging salmon caught off Greenland during the summer.
- Acadia University: Studying how salmon survive and where they go after they have spawned in their home rivers, by tracking such salmon from an inner Bay of Fundy river in Nova Scotia.
- University of New Brunswick: Study how the diet of Atlantic salmon has changed over a fifty-year period by studying the chemistry and isotopes of scales collected over decades.
- Dalhousie University: Continued development of the life-history model to help determine the major factors affecting at-sea survival of maturing salmon.