Good choices for Minister’s Advisory Council on Atlantic salmon, says Foundation chair

March 4, 2015

(Québec, QC) The Honourable Gail Shea’s creation of an expert committee to tackle the Issue of low wild Atlantic salmon returnsis commendable, says Rémi Bujold, Chair of the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation (ASCF).

The federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans announced that she was establishing an advisory committee on Atlantic salmon last December, and last week named the committee’s members. Among the experts assigned to the task is François Caron, a member of ASCF’s Central Advisory Committee.

“ASCF is very pleased to have representation on this important committee,” says Bujold. “Mr. Caron’s appointment is an acknowledgement of the significance of the Foundation and the projects it is funding.”

The Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization that works to promote enhanced community partnerships in the conservation of wild Atlantic salmon and its habitat in Atlantic Canada and Quebec. Established in 2007, the Foundation has awarded over $2.35 million to some 211 projects that have saved or improved salmon habitat, restocked rivers and raised public awareness of the plight of wild Atlantic salmon.

The Foundation will award $1 million in funding when it announces its 2015 grants in April.

“Wild Atlantic salmon is an important resource on the east coast,” says Bujold. “It is a key component of the sustenance fishery for many of our First Nations communities and others living in remote areas, not to mention that the recreational fishery attracts millions of dollars in tourism revenue.”

As a member of Foundation’s Central Advisory Committee, François Caron helps to determine the Foundation’s funding priorities, which are based on science, research and the state of salmon stocks and habitat throughout the Atlantic region and eastern Quebec.

“Mr. Caron is an excellent choice for the Minister’s Advisory Committee,” says Bujold. “He is a recognized expert, having spent his entire career researching wild Atlantic salmon and other migratory species of fish. He has also developed and worked on many management and habitat remediation projects.”

The Minister’s committee will address four key issues affecting wild Atlantic salmon: conservation and enforcement measures; predation; strategy to address international, unsustainable fishing; and focused areas for advancing science.

“These are important issues,” says Bujold. “Steps to address them will go a long way in helping the organizations funded by ASCF to achieve their goals.”

The committee has been instructed to submit a report by June.

“We have to move fast if we’re going to save our Atlantic salmon,” says Bujold. “The Minister has wisely recognized this, and has brought together an impressive panel of experts to address the problem.”