Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

June 01, 2005 09:53 ET

DFO: Regan Appoints Commissioner to the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 1, 2005) - Geoff Regan, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), today announced the appointment of J.W. Bud Bird as a Canadian Commissioner to the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO). Mr. Bird will replace Chief George Ginnish.

"Bud Bird is very knowledgeable about fisheries issues, particularly Atlantic salmon, and he understands the complex challenges Canada and its international partners face in managing these important fish stocks," said Minister Regan. "His experience will be a tremendous asset to the Canadian delegation at NASCO."

"I would also like to thank Chief George Ginnish for his contribution and his dedicated service to the organization."

Mr. Bird has been a director of the Atlantic Salmon Federation since 1982, and has been involved with the Miramichi Salmon Association since 1996. He was awarded the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Salmon Conservation in New Brunswick in 2004. As Minister of Natural Resources for the Province of New Brunswick, he was responsible for administering the Fish and Wildlife Act. He has also served as Member of Parliament for Fredericton-York-Sunbury. In 2001, Mr. Bird was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

NASCO was established in 1984 to provide for the conservation, restoration, enhancement and rational management of Atlantic salmon stocks. Its member countries are Canada, Denmark (in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland), the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Russia and the United States. Canadian Commissioners provide views to DFO, report on meetings and contribute to maintaining consensus among Atlantic salmon interests. Canada is a member of the North American Commission and the West Greenland Commission, and is an observer on the North East Atlantic Commission.

For more information about NASCO, visit



Canada and the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization

Salmon stocks that migrate beyond the 200-mile limits of coastal States in the Atlantic Ocean north of 36 degrees N latitude throughout their migratory range are managed by the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO). Canada, Denmark (in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland), the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Russia and the United States are Contracting Parties to this regional fisheries management organization (RFMO), while 23 non-government organizations have observer status.

NASCO was established under the 1982 Convention for the Conservation of Salmon in the North Atlantic Ocean, which prohibits fishing for salmon on the high seas in the Convention area. Since fishing is allowed only in areas under the jurisdiction of coastal States, it falls to individual parties to enforce the control measures adopted by NASCO.

The science surrounding salmon conservation has become a primary focus for NASCO. The issues include an increase in salmon mortality at sea and the impact of climate change on stocks. The organization is also working with other RFMOs to ascertain how many salmon are being taken as bycatch in other fisheries. The growth of salmon aquaculture and the transfer of stock are other areas of interest for NASCO.

NASCO has developed a unique organizational structure that balances the interests of States where the salmon originate with those that fish the stocks along their migration route. There is a Council, three regional Commissions (North America, Northeast Atlantic and West Greenland), and a Secretariat. Scientific advice is provided by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). Canada is a member of the Council and the regional Commissions for North America and West Greenland.

NASCO has been a leader amongst RFMOs in its commitment to the Precautionary Approach, which requires stock management decisions to err on the side of caution. The organization is also developing a framework for including the consideration of socio-economic factors in the decision-making process.

There are several challenges facing NASCO. West Greenland halted its salmon fishery in 2004, and the Faroe Islands have gone several years without a salmon fishery. There are no agreed upon management measures to control the fishery in 2005, but the Faroe Islands have agreed to take internal management decisions on the basis of current ICES advice if there is a fishery.

France (in respect of St. Pierre and Miquelon) is the only party catching Atlantic salmon that is not a member of NASCO. However, it has recently committed to enhancing its co-operation with NASCO by continuing its research program on the St. Pierre and Miquelon fishery.

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Contact Information

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