Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

June 14, 2005 09:41 ET

DFO: New 'Salmon at Sea' Initiative Intensifies Scientific Research on North Atlantic Salmon

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 14, 2005) - Geoff Regan, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today welcomed an agreement by North Atlantic fishing nations to reduce at-sea mortality of wild Atlantic salmon stocks.

At the annual meeting of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO), held from June 6-10 in Vichy, France, member States agreed to co-operate on a new initiative called SALSEA (Salmon at Sea). This multilateral activity will integrate and intensify scientific research to find the unknown factors that affect marine survival of Atlantic salmon. St. Pierre and Miquelon will also continue a sampling program in their salmon fishery to further the collective knowledge of Atlantic salmon.

"Knowledge-sharing within the international scientific community will increase our collective ability to protect Atlantic salmon," said Minister Regan. "Canada spends $3.7 million annually on research programs that study factors contributing to marine salmon mortality. SALSEA will complement our efforts."

Canada is also investing $30 million this year on an Atlantic Salmon Endowment Fund to help achieve healthy and sustainable Atlantic salmon stocks. Furthermore, Canada is in the process of developing a wild Atlantic salmon policy.

At this year's NASCO meeting, Greenland agreed again to suspend its 2005 commercial Atlantic salmon fishery and engage only in a modest salmon food fishery. Approximately 73 per cent of the Atlantic salmon caught in West Greenland originate in North American waters. The conservation agreement between Canada's Atlantic Salmon Federation and Greenland fishers continues to be instrumental in the long-term diversification of Greenland's salmon fishery.

NASCO members also agreed to continue working with the salmon farming industry to minimize the potential effects of fish-farming on wild stocks. This co-operative agreement is consistent with Canada's efforts to ensure the responsible and sustainable development of aquaculture domestically.

"The commitments made by NASCO members will further our collective efforts to protect wild Atlantic salmon," said Minister Regan. "I appreciate the work of Canada's delegation and our NASCO Commissioners, Serge Tremblay and Bud Bird, for their work at this year's meeting."

NASCO promotes international co-operation on conservation, restoration, enhancement, and management of North Atlantic salmon stocks. Member parties include Canada, Denmark (in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland), the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and the United States. The next annual meeting of the organization will take place in June 2006 in Finland.

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Phil Jenkins
    Media Relations
    (613) 990-7537
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Sujata Raisinghani
    Press Secretary, Office of the Minister
    (613) 992-3474