Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

February 28, 2005 14:00 ET

DFO: Regan Announces Creation of an Atlantic Salmon Endowment Fund


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: FISHERIES AND OCEANS CANADA

FEBRUARY 28, 2005 - 14:00 ET

DFO: Regan Announces Creation of an Atlantic Salmon
Endowment Fund

FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 28, 2005) - The
Honourable Geoff Regan, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), provided
additional details today on the funding announced during last week's
federal budget and explained how it will address central issues in
Atlantic Canada.

"It gives me great pleasure to announce that the Government of Canada
will invest $30 million to establish an Atlantic Salmon Endowment Fund,"
said Minister Regan. "The fund will help the countless watershed and
community groups in the Atlantic provinces as well as Quebec who are
working with DFO on a range of habitat-enhancement, monitoring and
conservation initiatives."

The once-proud Atlantic salmon has fallen on hard times, suffering
serious declines over the last ten years. To deal with these declines,
DFO focused a significant part of its overall enforcement efforts on
salmon and has also worked closely with salmon-conservation groups to
take proactive measures to conserve populations and rebuild stocks. But
clearly, more is needed.

The Atlantic Salmon Endowment Fund (ASEF), similar to the fund created
on the West Coast in 2001, will optimize the $30 million one-time
federal contribution to help achieve healthy and sustainable Atlantic
salmon stocks. As seen in B.C., such funds are successful in enhancing
co-operation between DFO and the many volunteer groups involved in
maintaining, protecting and rebuilding salmon habitat.

The ASEF would be managed at arms-length from DFO. The fund, which will
have charitable status and be held in trust, will be able to draw on
contributions from other public and private sources.

Over the coming weeks and months, DFO will invite the provinces of New
Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and Quebec and
a variety of stakeholders, including Aboriginal groups, to share their
views on the design and establishment of the ASEF. This includes the
setting of priorities, the approval of projects and monitoring and
implementation.

Volunteer groups, including the Atlantic Salmon Federation, Aboriginal
groups, sportfishing interests, community watershed groups - in short,
those interested in playing a role in the salmon's future - will have an
important role to play in the formation of the ASEF.

"Restored and vibrant salmon populations in lakes and rivers in Atlantic
Canada and Quebec would have huge benefits to Canadians and the
communities they live in," added Minister Regan.

In December 2004, a draft of the Wild Salmon Policy for the west coast
was released. At that time it was also announced that DFO would begin
development of a vision for the future of wild salmon in Atlantic Canada
and Quebec. The ASEF is the foundation for developing a Wild Atlantic
Salmon Policy that will give all interested parties the opportunity to
work together to develop a common vision for the future of Atlantic
salmon.

"This investment shows a clear demonstration of Canada's commitment to
environmental protection, community stewardship and partnerships,
regional development in rural and coastal areas, and improved economic
opportunities for First Nations," said Minister Regan.


-30-

Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Phil Jenkins
    Manager, Media Relations
    (613) 990-7537
    or
    Office of the Minister
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Brian Underhill
    Director of Communications
    (613) 992-3474
    Internet : www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca