Fundy Salmon Recovery
A revolutionary partnership - Fundy Salmon Recovery - in association with universities, Indigenous Peoples, government and private industry, is working together to raise and release hundreds of wild endangered inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic salmon (iBoF) in hopes that these adult salmon will spawn naturally in their native rivers. This project is based on the theory that Atlantic salmon have a better chance of survival when they are exposed to a wild environment at a young age and if they are born in the river rather than in a hatchery setting.
Fundy Salmon Recovery is made up of seven partners: Parks Canada, Cooke Aquaculture, the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association (ACFFA), the University of New Brunswick, the Province of New Brunswick, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Fort Folly First Nation. These organizations are united and inspired to work together for a common goal – to restore the historic wild Atlantic salmon populations to the inner Bay of Fundy for generations to come.
The Live Gene Bank, based out of the Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Mactaquac Biodiversity Facility, protects the unique families of the inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic salmon population by collecting juveniles from the wild, growing them to adult, and spawning them in captivity. The fry produced from these spawnings are released back to the wild. Once the fry grow to be young salmon (smolts), Fort Folly Habitat Recovery, the University of New Brunswick and Parks Canada work to retrieve the smolts from Fundy National Park rivers and the Petitcodiac watershed.
Fundy Salmon Recovery has also established the World’s First Wild Atlantic Salmon Conservation Marine Farm on Grand Manan Island to achieve a self-sustaining salmon run. Young salmon smolts collected from the rivers are transported to the conservation farm to be grown to maturity. While in the conservation farm, operated and maintained by Cooke Aquaculture, these salmon are cared for by Cooke staff, the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association, and the Province of New Brunswick.
Fundy Salmon Recovery is the first project in the world to collect young fish after they have spent the critical early life stages in the wild, then cared for in an ocean environment at a dedicated marine farm site. The site is equipped with custom designed conservation aquaculture net pens – the first of its kind in the world. The fish are fed specialized diets developed by biologists and Cooke Aquaculture nutrition experts.
Once the salmon are mature they are released back into Fundy National Park rivers and the Petitcodiac watershed where the survival of their offspring, from egg to young salmon, will continue the cycle.
Back in the rivers, salmon are continuously monitored by University of New Brunswick scientists. Using advanced technology, scientists are able to detect the number of project salmon and wild returning salmon that enter and depart the Upper Salmon River in Fundy National Park. They are also monitoring wild returning salmon genetics, river nutrient levels and ecosystem health.
To help ensure the protection of the iBoF Atlantic salmon during their fresh water life stage, local law enforcement agencies are working together as part of the Atlantic Salmon Law Enforcement Coalition. The coalition has increased joint patrols and surveillance on iBoF rivers, especially those in which there are active recovery efforts. The Atlantic Salmon Law Enforcement Coalition includes Parks Canada’s Warden Service; Fisheries Officers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada; officers from the RCMP and Crime Stoppers; Conservation Officers and Off-Road Vehicle Officers from New Brunswick Department of Justice and Public Safety; and, Wildlife Enforcement Officers from Environment and Climate Change Canada.
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