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Since 1980 the salmon farming industry around the North Atlantic Ocean has increased nearly exponentially. Crowded together in cages, farmed salmon are subject to epidemic outbreaks of diseases and parasites that can impact wild Atlantic salmon. In freshwater, salmon escaping from hatcheries can displace young wild salmon, jeopardizing the future of the species in those  watersheds.
Acid Rain
Acid precipitation has killed the fish populations of 14 rivers in Nova Scotia's southern upland region. Twenty rivers have only 10% of their Atlantic salmon left, and another thirty are threatened. Acid rain also impacts the Pleasant and Dennys Rivers in Downeast Maine.

Endangered Species - Canada
Canada's Atlantic salmon populations have declined greatly since the 1970s. In 2001, Inner Bay of Fundy salmon were declared endangered. In 2010, COSEWIC assessed FIVE population segments endangered, ONE threatened, ONE extinct, and FOUR others of special concern. More details available.

Endangered Species - U.S.

In late 2000, wild Atlantic salmon were listed as endangered in 8 Maine Rivers - Dennys, East Machias, Machias, Pleasant, Narraguagus, Cove Brook, Ducktrap and Sheepscot.

On June 15, 2009, U.S. Federal authorities expanded the listing in two ways:

1. Added Atlantic salmon populations of three of the largest rivers in Maine, the Androscoggin, Kennebec and the Penobscot. The Penobscot has the largest Atlantic salmon run in the United States, and is an 'anchor' river for the species. (see National Register for expansion click here)

2. Designation of critical habitat areas in many of the salmon river watersheds in Maine. (see also National Register .pdf)

Dams & Free Passage
Monitoring of salmon passing downstream and those returning from the ocean has shown that dams continue to be barriers to migration, and may cause high mortality. ASF is actively working to reduce the impact of dams on wild Atlantic salmon. In Maine, ASF is committed to the Penobscot Restoration Project that includes dismantling two major dams, and major modifications of a third. On the St. Croix River that forms the boundary between the US and Canada, ASF is part of a coalition working to open fishways illegally closed by the State of Maine to prevent the native Gaspereau or Alewives from ascending the river.

Invasive Species
When a new species is released into an environment where it does not naturally occur, it can potentially destroy the existing natural balance, and even cause the extinction of particular populations or even entire species. Didymosphenia, called DIDYMO or "Rock Snot" is an emerging issue that directly affects several Gaspé rivers at this time.

Mortality at Sea

For unknown reasons, the mortality rate of Atlantic salmon at sea is twice as high as it was in the 1970s, and no one knows why. Overall, scientific models are giving a mortality for North American salmon of about 3% per month.

In order to understand the issues facing Atlantic salmon as they descend rivers, and travel out to sea, a new technology has been pioneered by ASF along with partners, particularly VEMCO, the company building the transmitters and receivers.

Penobscot River Restoration Trust

In early 2012 the first of the dams is slated for demolition on the Penobscot River.

The Penobscot River Restoration Trust purchased three dams, in a program that has been working away for a dozen years now. Now the program is coming to its active phase.

Greenland Agreement - and Mixed Population Fisheries
In 2011, ASF and the North Atlantic Salmon Fund is in the tenth year of  our agreement with Greenland’s fishermen to suspend their  commercial salmon fishery.    In those years, we have seen an increasing number of salmon returning to our rivers and 2010 was especially encouraging.

FRACKING (Alternate Methods for Extracting Oil from Shales)
Fracking has become an issue in New Brunswick, with concerns not just for ground water but for waterways as well.

Land Use
Land use practices can greatly affect Atlantic salmon runs. Forestry, agriculture and industrial development all need to be practiced in a way that does not affect river systems and the living systems they contain.

Federal Support - Canada
In recent years, Canada’s federal government’s financial and human investment in the wild Atlantic salmon resource has declined dramatically, despite its responsibility for maintaining this species. There are some recent signs of improvement however. In late 2006, Canada's Parliament approved a $30M Trust Fund to assist regional-based on-river restoration efforts.
Live Release
Live Release of wild Atlantic salmon is a proven conservation tool. In the 21st century, anglers need to play their part in conserving and restoring Atlantic salmon runs.

Petitcodiac Renewal

In late Spring 2010 the Gates of the Petitcodiac were opened - and are to stay open for an evaluation period of two years. 

Since 1968, a 'barrier' causeway, with gates seldom opened, has blocked the Petitcodiac to migration of fish, including Atlantic salmon. In summer 2007 the Province of New Brunswick finally agreed to replace this barrier with a bridge - but the battle is not yet over. Before the causeway, the Petitcodiac and its tributaries was the fourth-greatest Atlantic salmon river in New Brunswick.

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Agreement on Greenland’s Commercial Salmon Fishery Reached Good News For North America
June 12th, 2012
West Greenland catch will be restricted to 20 tonne local consumption limit.

Join the St. Croix River Alewife Migration
June 8th, 2012
On Saturday, June 9, groups and individuals concerned about the future survival of native alewives (gaspereau) on the St. Croix River will symbolically escort this historically and ecologically important fish up the river. 

Newfoundland Fish Farm fish Hopes to Sell Infected Salmon
July 10th, 2012
A salmon farm with iSA in southern Newfoundland wants to sell its condemned salmon for human use.

PEI Fish Kill Larger than Thought
July 10th, 2012
A PEI Fish Kill in Trout River a repeat of last year

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