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Atlantic Salmon: A complex issue

Atlantic salmon fisheries have been part of our Canadian social heritage for more than 150 years. I would like to reassure Atlantic Canadians that our government is strongly committed to the conservation and protection of this important resource.  

Our scientists are actively monitoring Atlantic salmon populations in key rivers in Eastern Canada to undertake rigorous counts of salmon returns. This information is vital to make the best management decisions for the conservation of the resource. 

In 2014, we implemented additional measures for recreational Atlantic salmon fisheries in Atlantic Canada and we are taking action to ensure that these rules are observed. That is why in 2013 alone almost 65,000 hours were dedicated to monitoring and enforcement activities throughout Atlantic Canada.

Furthermore, Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Wild Atlantic Salmon Conservation Policy, implemented in 2009, was developed to maintain and restore healthy and diverse salmon populations and rebuild and rehabilitate wild Atlantic salmon habitat. 

The department will also be holding a workshop focusing on better understanding at-sea threats faced by salmon originating from rivers in the Maritimes Region. This is important work, as juvenile production remains stable in most Atlantic salmon populations, but at-sea mortality is estimated to be high.

Additionally, our government’s Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnership Program, created in 2013, provided over $1 million annually for projects aimed at restoring and rebuilding wild Atlantic salmon habitat.

Americans are facing similar issues and we will continue to work with our neighbours. Rest assured that our government will continue to act to conserve and protect Atlantic salmon, which has been a mainstay of Atlantic Canada’s economy and culture for generations.

The Honourable Gail Shea

Minister of Fisheries and Oceans 

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