ASF aims to develop Atlantic salmon recovery program

Undercurrent News

ASF aims to develop Atlantic salmon recovery program

August 22, 2013, 11:56 pm    

The Atlantic Salmon Federation is hosting an international conference to bring scientists, stakeholder groups and conservation managers together around the question of how to recover Atlantic salmon stocks.

International speakers and participants have been attracted tot he conference, set for Sept. 18 through 19 in Chamcock, New Brunswick.

Jonathon Carr, event organizer and Director of Research at ASF, says that there is a need for collaboration in the community of salmon researchers.

“Atlantic salmon are an immensely important species, both economically, ecologically and culturally,” Carr said. “Wherever salmon are found, people are working to conserve them. This conference will allow us to synthesize these local efforts into a broader, multi-national strategy.”

The conference will focus on applied Atlantic salmon research, with 32 presenters from diverse backgrounds sharing their experiences of successes, failures, and best practices for rebuilding depleted and threatened wild salmon populations.

Carr says that this represents a unique learning opportunity for participants that are already working on or are considering recovery options for their local salmon populations.

“There exists a great deal of peer-reviewed, published research on salmon conservation, but recovery programs and strategies that were not successful rarely get published; for those interested in salmon recovery, knowing what doesn’t work is equally as important as knowing what does,” Carr said.

Amongst the 80 attendees are Dennis Ensing, senior scientist at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute in Northern Ireland, and Ivor Llewelyn, director of the Atlantic Salmon Trust in England and Wales.

Carr says conservation efforts in North America are linked to those efforts in the European Union since salmon from both sides of the Atlantic aggregate and feed together during the winter months, where they are subject to the same international fishing pressures, and ecosystem-wide climate changes.

A key outcome of the recovery workshop will be the development of a classification system for salmon recovery programs that will identify population status and associated threats, life history attributes, action plans, program goals, and measures for evaluating the success of recovery programs.

From the workshop proceedings, recommendations will be developed on best practices for salmon recovery for both local populations and for the species as a whole.