40th Annual Meeting of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO)
June 9, 2023
Ottawa, Ontario - Atlantic salmon is culturally, socially, and economically important to Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities across Atlantic Canada. The number of wild Atlantic salmon in Canadian and international waters has steadily declined since the mid-1980s. Increased collaboration across borders, taking into account the best available scientific information, as well as Indigenous perspectives and leadership, is crucial to the long term conservation and restoration of the species.
Canada was honoured to host the 40th Annual Meeting of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO) in Moncton, New Brunswick from June 5-8, 2023. Delegates from Canada and other NASCO Parties came together to take steps to achieve their shared objective of urgent protection of wild Atlantic salmon. This meeting provided the opportunity for meaningful dialogue and cooperation between parties to advance ongoing actions and explore new approaches to the conservation and management of wild Atlantic salmon.
The 40th annual meeting of NASCO included two special sessions; the first on climate change and the second on Indigenous perspectives on Atlantic salmon, which was led by Canada. As part of the session on climate change, Canada presented its efforts on adaptive management of Atlantic salmon, and successfully advocated for NASCO to develop a strategy to inform future adaptive measures to address climate change impacts.
The session on Indigenous perspectives on Atlantic salmon increased understanding of Indigenous people’s connections, experience, and participation in the conservation and sustainable management of wild Atlantic salmon, including the challenges that they face. The session included the first ever Indigenous-only panel discussion to explore how NASCO can allow for better engagement of and by Indigenous peoples.
NASCO delegates visited Fundy National Park to learn first-hand about the innovative Fundy Salmon Recovery model, which grows wild Atlantic salmon smolts from park rivers to adults in the world’s first marine conservation farm using fish farming technology and science. These adult salmon are released back into their home rivers to lay eggs and create the next generation of wild fish. As a result of this model, project rivers are seeing increasing salmon returns, increasing numbers of wild juveniles each year, and more productive freshwater ecosystems. The partnership is a collaborative model of government, academia, the aquaculture industry, and Indigenous leadership, to successfully recover the endangered Inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic salmon.
The Government of Canada’s engagement and leadership at NASCO helps to advance the sustainable management of wild Atlantic salmon through international cooperation, while progressing on Canada’s domestic priorities for the long-term viability and conservation of this iconic species.
“I am proud of Canada’s role at this year’s North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization meeting. Canada led the first-ever Indigenous-only panel exclusively dedicated to Indigenous perspectives. We shared information on how climate impacts salmon productivity in the North Atlantic, exploring new approaches to protecting wild Atlantic Salmon. We will protect this iconic species by working with other nations and drawing upon science and Indigenous knowledge.”
The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
NASCO was established in 1984 to enable collaboration amongst member countries on conserving, restoring, enhancing and managing wild Atlantic salmon, while taking into account the best available science.
The Year of the Salmon Synthesis Symposium, held in Vancouver in October 2022 and co-hosted by NASCO and the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission, reiterated the critical status of salmon, which continue to be impacted by rapidly changing environments.
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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