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Researchers In France For 'The Salmon Summit'

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
7 October 2011, at 1:00am

GLOBAL and FRANCE - The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) will join 130 salmon scientists and managers from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean in La Rochelle, France from October 11 to 13 for the Salmon Summit, an unprecedented review of new, ground-breaking research on the reasons for high mortality at sea and their implications for managing and conserving wild Atlantic salmon.

Over the past few years, entirely new sophisticated technologies have developed that did not exist a decade ago, for tracking Atlantic salmon during ocean migration, applying DNA research, and allowing tissue analysis. This conference is the first major opportunity for these new research advances to be shared in order to develop a fuller understanding of what is happening to Atlantic salmon in the ocean, and how the ocean environment changes are affecting the species.

Jonathan Carr, ASF's Director of Research and Environment, notes that the conference will offer an opportunity to share with other North American and European colleagues the strides ASF has made in solving the mysteries of increased mortality of young migrating salmon as they venture to sea.

Mr Carr states: “Excessive mortality in the ocean is one of the greatest problems wild Atlantic salmon currently face. This conference is the first time that so many researchers will gather to share the results from this new technology that includes our sonic tracking advances, as well as the satellite tracking results, and new methods being developed to pinpoint where Atlantic salmon feed in the ocean."

"Having access to new approaches and sharing of results should help us better determine what we can do to improve salmon survival at sea. We certainly hope it provides governments and others working to restore Atlantic salmon with new insights and avenues for progress."

Dr Fred Whoriskey, Executive Director of the Ocean Tracking Network, Dalhousie University, and former ASF V.P. of Research and Environment, will present his insights on the many years of data from ocean tracking of smolts developed through ASF's long-term commitment to tracking.

In this ASF-directed research, it has been discovered that smolts from many North American rivers meet to travel through the Strait of Belle Isle on their way to Greenland, and that older salmon travel through the strait at the same time, raising speculation about a social component to the migration to and from Greenland.

ASF’s research findings are one part of solving the mystery of salmon at sea. Other scientists from the US and from Europe, have been using different new and exciting technologies, including satellite tags and stable isotopes, to learn more.

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