ASF finds Greenland’s wild Atlantic salmon catch growth concerning
Thursday, June 04, 2015, 00:50 (GMT + 9)
Greenland has reportedly increased its wild Atlantic salmon catch from 47 tonnes in 2013 to 58 tonnes in 2014, exceeding the sustainable levels for the species, which is concerning to the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF).
In a press release sent to FIS.com, the non-government organisation indicates that the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) -- in its latest report -- informed that Greenland harvested 63 per cent, Canada 35 per cent and St-Pierre et Miquelon 2 per cent of the salmon that spent two winters on Greenland’s ocean feeding grounds returning to Canada in 2014.
“Mixed-population fisheries are unacceptable human impacts upon salmon runs that are already suffering from habitat loss, interactions with farmed salmon, and changing environmental conditions,” pointed out ASF President Bill Taylor.
Besides, Taylor added: “Harvest is one impact that effective government action can help solve and there are steps that can be taken this year that would have an immediate and very positive effect.”
Concerned about these facts, the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO) has decided to negotiate a multi-year agreement to regulate the Greenland salmon fishery at its annual meeting scheduled to take place in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador from 2-5 June.
Meanwhile, the Government of Canada recently prohibited retention of wild Atlantic salmon for 2015 in the recreational fishery of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
This conservation measure was announced in April by Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea in response to dwindling salmon numbers as an interim measure that was recommended by the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Atlantic salmon.
From 2002-2011, NASCO agreements complemented private sector agreements involving Greenland fishermen, ASF and the North Atlantic Salmon Fund, restricting the Greenland fishery to subsistence levels, but this came to an end in 2012 when Greenland began a commercial salmon fishery to supply its factories.
“We would like to see the Greenland fishery limited to a subsistence fishery, which historically has been about 20 tonnes,” remarked Taylor.
“Greenland needs to implement better reporting, monitoring and control of its salmon fishery to which they have indicated they are open to considering. But at the same time, they have indicated that they want to maintain a factory fishery and an uncapped subsistence fishery. In light of the very low levels of North American salmon stocks, this is simply unacceptable,” Taylor concluded.