DFO needs to act for salmon

At­lantic Salmon Fed­er­a­tion says in­de­ci­sion is im­pact­ing fish

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - FRONT PAGE -

COR­NER BROOK, NL — The At­lantic Salmon Fed­er­a­tion is call­ing on DFO to promptly de­cide whether to sus­pend the re­cre­ational har­vest of At­lantic salmon in New­found­land and parts of Labrador.

Two con­sec­u­tive years of sig­nif­i­cant pop­u­la­tion de­clines ne­ces­si­tate an im­me­di­ate de­ci­sion to al­low the max­i­mum num­ber of fish to sur­vive and spawn, ac­cord­ing to the fed­er­a­tion.

Since talk of a con­sid­er­a­tion to a sus­pen­sion of retention an­gling last month, on July 19 DFO com­pleted a mid-sea­son re­view of re­turns and rec­om­mended that all in­su­lar New­found­land rivers be closed to retention an­gling “un­til there is ev­i­dence of im­proved re­turns.” The full doc­u­ment can be viewed here:

http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/ csas-sccs/Publi­ca­tions/ScRRS/2017/2017_036-eng.html

Mem­bers of the New­found­land and Labrador At­lantic Salmon Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee, which in­cludes the At­lantic Salmon Fed­er­a­tion (ASF) and other lo­cal groups, were asked for their po­si­tion by July 24. Since then of­fi­cials have been con­sid­er­ing what to do.

“Each day that goes by we are los­ing more salmon and po­ten­tially mak­ing the sit­u­a­tion worse for fu­ture years,” Don Ivany, ASF’s pro­gram direc­tor for New­found­land and Labrador, stated in a press re­lease is­sued Aug. 1. “DFO has all the in­for­ma­tion but a de­ci­sion is still not forth­com­ing.”

Aug 1, an­glers on all Class 6 rivers in New­found­land are per­mit­ted to keep an ad­di­tional two fish. This could mean in­creased fish­ing pres­sure on fewer salmon com­pared to pre­vi­ous years, ac­cord­ing to the press re­lease.

ASF agreed with the DFO’s rec­om­men­da­tion to sus­pend the re­cre­ational salmon har­vest in New­found­land, un­til re­turns im­prove. The Fed­er­a­tion’s sub­mis­sion to DFO also rec­om­mends tem­po­rar­ily stop­ping the re­cre­ational har­vest for all Labrador rivers south of Cartwright, where sim­i­lar de­clines have been ob­served.

To pro­tect salmon that have re­turned, ASF rec­om­mends DFO in­crease in­land en­force­ment for the re­main­der of 2017 and ex­tend the In­land Fish­ery Guardian Pro­gram un­til midOc­to­ber, when spawn­ing is likely com­plete.

“DFO has the au­thor­ity and re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­tect wild salmon and what is hap­pen­ing in New­found­land and parts of Labrador is a huge con­cern,” Steve Sut­ton, ASF’s Co­or­di­na­tor of Com­mu­nity En­gage­ment and Out­reach. “We can’t risk chalk­ing this up to a cou­ple bad years. There are many pres­sures af­fect­ing At­lantic salmon and ex­tra con­ser­va­tion mea­sures are needed to make sure as many as pos­si­ble reach the spawn­ing beds this year.”

ASF’s sub­mis­sion to the New­found­land and Labrador At­lantic Salmon Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee can be viewed here: http://asf. ca/dfo-needs-to-act-for-new­found­land-salmon.html

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