Wild atlantic salmon. (Photo: ASF)
Collaborative project for Atlantic salmon recovery achieves important milestone
Wednesday, June 13, 2018, 01:40 (GMT + 9)
Thanks to a collaborative project for the inner Bay of Fundy Salmon Recovery (FSR), wild-hatched Atlantic salmon are leaving their home rivers of Southern New Brunswick for the first time and migrating to the Bay of Fundy to feed there.
This milestone is deemed an important step towards the protection and restoration of the endangered inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic salmon, a species in danger of entinction.
As part of the project, the parents of these young salmon were collected from the wild as juveniles and raised to maturity in the protection of the World’s First Wild Atlantic Salmon Marine Conservation Farm, operated by Cooke Aquaculture in New Brunswick.
“The Atlantic salmon is an East Coast icon and the team at Cooke Aquaculture is proud to be part of the Fundy Salmon Recovery collaboration that is helping put more and more of these fish in our waterways. From caring for the fish at the conservation farm on Grand Manan, to overseeing the safe transport of hundreds of mature adults from the ocean to the Upper Salmon and Petitcodiac Rivers, our local family company dedicates a great deal of time and resources to the project and the results make it all worthwhile,” pointed out Glenn Cooke, CEO of Cooke Aquaculture.
Once mature, the adult salmon were released into the Upper Salmon River in Fundy National Park to spawn the next generation of wild salmon, the first of which are migrating this spring.
Hatched and grown entirely in the wild, these young salmon are a product of years of research showing that releasing wild adult salmon into their native rivers to spawn naturally can play a major role in restoring an endangered species.
The FSR collaboration brings together provincial and federal governments, academic scientists, conservation groups, and the aquaculture industry and has seen success through their first-in-the-world recovery model.
With appropriate modifications to adapt to individual circumstances, the FSR model could be replicated in other jurisdictions and revolutionize the recovery of fish populations around the world.
The Fundy Salmon Recovery model currently takes place on two rivers, the Upper Salmon River in Fundy National Park and on the Petitcodiac River, a traditionally important river for the Fort Folly First Nation community.
Through the hard work and dedication of all partners – Parks Canada, Cooke Aquaculture, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Fort Folly First Nation, the Province of New Brunswick, the University of New Brunswick, the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association, and the Village of Grand Manan – Fundy Salmon Recovery is changing the face of conservation through innovation, collaboration, and the recovery of an icon - the Inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic salmon.