SALMON STEWARDS URGE DFO FOR MORE TIME TO SAVE NOVA SCOTIA’S WILD SALMON
For immediate release
December 19, 2013
St Andrews, N.B.— The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) is urging NS Power and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to continue to work towards a proposal that would have a Non-Government Organization (NGO) operate the Mersey Biodiversity Facility near Milton, Nova Scotia.
“Without Mersey,” said Lewis Hinks, ASF’s Director of Programs for Nova Scotia, “it will be next to impossible to recover Nova Scotia’s wild Atlantic salmon in the Inner Bay of Fundy and southern Uplands.”
“We had been encouraged by DFO Minister Gail Shea’s letter to Bill Taylor, President of ASF, in September, indicating that the DFO was prepared to review a proposal to use the site and applications to assume operations at Mersey,” said Hinks. “We are still hopeful that DFO will give us some more time before shutting down a facility that the department has invested more than $1.5 million in upgrades in recent years. If the facility is closed, a significant amount of taxpayers' dollars will be spent to tear down buildings, fill in ponds, and cement water intake pipes.”
Mr. Hinks said, “There is an active group of NGOs willing and able to collaborate with government to continue banking the genes of endangered fish to aid in recovery efforts that are supposed to take place under Canada’s Species at Risk Act. As part of the recent controversial amendments to Canada’s Fisheries Act, one of the more positive premises was the intent of DFO to set up cooperative partnerships with the volunteer organizations that are hands-on stewards of wild fish.”
Mr. Hinks concluded, “It is apparent to ASF that that the Mersey Biodiversity Facility should be a prime example of this type of collaboration, and, with the future of many of Nova Scotia’s salmon populations depending on keeping the facility open, it is hoped that DFO will work with Nova Scotia’s stewards to accomplish this.”
The Atlantic Salmon Federation is dedicated to the conservation, protection and restoration of wild Atlantic salmon and the ecosystems on which their well-being and survival depend. ASF has a network of seven regional councils (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Maine and Western New England). The regional councils cover the freshwater range of the Atlantic salmon in Canada and the United States.
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