In addressing the Committee, Minister Shea reiterated the Government’s commitment to take action about the trend of low returns of Atlantic salmon on the East coast and encouraged the Committee members to use their expertise and that of local stakeholders to help determine a fulsome course of action.
At the meeting, officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans presented the most recent data including the latest science, regional management enforcement measures and international strategies in relation to Atlantic salmon.
Committee members will next hear from a number of invited organizations with a specific interest in wild Atlantic salmon conservation who will then take part in a roundtable discussion on solutions to address the Committee’s mandate.
The Minister also announced three funding projects to enhance conservation and protection efforts for Atlantic salmon in Nova Scotia. The first is funding of almost C$101,000 to the Nova Scotia Salmon Association for habitat restoration projects across the province through the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Programme.
The other projects total over C$300,000 and will fund repairs and upgrades of fishways in Nova Scotia including in Indian Falls and Grand River.
“Our Government recognizes the importance of Atlantic Salmon for our region’s economy, history and culture. Today the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Atlantic Salmon is initiating its work to find the best solutions to conserve, protect and rebuild this important resource. This Committee, along with the funding projects announced today, is an example of the Government of Canada’s commitment to rebuilding our Atlantic Salmon stock,” said Ms Shea.
"The Minister's committee is composed of a group of people from Atlantic Canada and Quebec who have a vast amount of experience related to Atlantic salmon. They also have a strong passion for the species with many of them volunteering in their communities to address salmon conservation and habitat restoration. I look forward to working with these knowledgeable people, and we are all anxious to start meeting with stakeholders and First Nations partners to address the task at hand," said Greg Roach, Chair, Ministerial Advisory Committee on Atlantic Salmon.
“I am delighted to not only be a member of the Minister’s Advisory Committee on Atlantic Salmon, but also grateful that the Nova Scotia Salmon Association is a recipient of the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program. This funding will go towards the NSLC- Adopt A Stream program that supports the work of numerous community groups whose projects result in the restoration of thousands of square meters of aquatic habitat each year,” commented Rene Aucoin, President, Nova Scotia Salmon Association.