Volunteer Profile – Shane O’NeilJanuary 7, 2016
Meet Shane O’Neil, a member of the Nova Scotia Advisory Committee.
O’Neil is an avid angler who joined DFO as a biologist in the early 1980s to work on diadromous species, with a focus on salmon. His recreational interest in salmon fishing evolved as population levels changed and his work became more focused on salmon.
“At home, my wife June and I were busy with three children, now grown, through school and extracurricular activities including soccer, music, and hockey, “ said O’Neil.
“I worked with others from the community to start the Sackville Rivers Association in 1988 and volunteered with them as they worked to protect and restore fish habitat and to contribute to the restoration of salmon to the watershed. Work at Fisheries and Oceans over a period of 34 years included data capture on recreational salmon angling, salmon assessments, and managing a team conducting assessments and salmon recovery activities.”
O’Neil has been involved with the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation since its inception, and said he joined to help where he could.
“As a member of the Nova Scotia committee, we developed priorities with a mind to protecting existing salmon populations consistent with the foundation’s mandate.”
O’Neil said he stays involved because public engagement in conserving salmon populations will be necessary in order for salmon to remain healthy, adding the ASCF is one way to promote local stewardship and restoration activities.
“The Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation is a prime example of a multi-faceted partnership in the wise use and conservation of our most valuable natural resources, the wild Atlantic salmon.”
And why should others get involved?
“Because the foundation’s work is substantive for salmon conservation and supported via the ‘principle funds’ provided by the federal government and through partnership with stakeholders including community groups, First Nations, and conservation organizations, who bring in-kind and partner funds to the table to complete river and population support activities.”