Declining Salmon Stocks Continue to Cause Concern


ST. ANDREWS, N.B. — Despite efforts to encourage other countries to conserve salmon stocks, an international organization is warning steep declines are an imminent threat Canada needs to take seriously.

The Atlantic Salmon Federation, which will be participating in a North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO) meeting in Ilulissat, Greenland in June, believes Atlantic salmon could go the way of Newfoundland cod if Canada doesn’t discourage Greenland from starting a commercial fishery next year, Canadian Press reports.

“They’sre [Greenland] not happy with not just the science but also the fact other nations throughout the North Atlantic, including Canada, continue to harvest far too many fish,” Bill Taylor, federation president, told the CP. “It’s a matter of practising what we preach.”

Restrictions are currently in place, but the federation is concerned salmon stocks have reached their second lowest point in 40 years and cite illegal fishing as cause for concern.  

According to a recent article in New Brunswick’s Times Transcript, critics fear Canada has lost its moral edge in the ongoing issue. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans reported 7,800 and 3,200 large salmon were slaughtered in an aboriginal and recreational fishery, respectively, last year alone. “This significant harvest weakens Canada’s negotiations at the NASCO to reduce the Greenland harvest,” Taylor told the Times Transcript.

So far, salmon stocks are down 65 per cent in Labrador, 51 per cent in Newfoundland and 14 per cent in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Other spawning decreases have been noticed along the coast of Nova Scotia and in the Bay of Fundy, the Times Transcript reports.


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