Salmon fed­er­a­tion di­rec­tive ig­nores the real prob­lem

The Compass - - Editorial - Rick Mad­di­gan writes from St. John’s

I see the At­lantic Salmon Fed­er­a­tion (ASF) has again is­sued a news re­lease call­ing for the live re­lease of all At­lantic salmon.

As much as I ad­mire ASF and their work — I am a mem­ber — and thank God that they try to keep some checks on the Depart­ment of Fish­eries and Oceans, they sim­ply do not un­der­stand the New­found­land and Labrador salmon an­gler.

In New­found­land and Labrador, the re­ten­tion an­glers are the true stew­ards of our rivers and our salmon. Take the re­ten­tion an­glers off our rivers and the poach­ers will de­stroy them within five years.

Shame on both ASF and DFO for sug­gest­ing that re­ten­tion an­glers are even part of the prob­lem with low salmon re­turns.

All you can ask our river sys­tems to do is to pro­duce enough baby salmon to keep our stocks sus­tain­able. And our rivers are do­ing that. The prob­lem is that not enough adult salmon are re­turn­ing from the sea. So why not fo­cus there that’s where the prob­lem is.

An­glers are tired of tak­ing the blame for some­thing that is not their fault. ASF needs to pres­sure DFO to stop the poach­ing at sea, stop the salmon by­catch by the sein­ers and bait nets and take the open pen aqua­cul­ture nets off our south coast. Then our rivers will be full of salmon - I guarantee it!

“The prob­lem is that not enough adult salmon are re­turn­ing from the sea. So why not fo­cus there - that’s where the prob­lem is.”

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