We are trying to improve our on-line presence. VP Bill Haley has been working with our Webmaster to put more news and events items on our webpage; www.margareesalmon.ca and we hope to reintroduce a Facebook page in the fall.
In the future, just for economic reasons, MSA will have to be doing more and more of its communications by e-mail, by posting on our website or by uploading news on a Facebook page or other social media platforms (being developed, I am sure, as I write).
You may have received e-mails recently. We are attempting to update and repopulate our contact list, partially lost with the transfer from the ns.sympatico.ca account to our new firstname.lastname@example.org. If you haven’t already done so, please add this Gmail address to your contact list as your ‘default’ address for the Margaree Salmon Association.
If you receive this newsletter by surface mail but you have an e-address and would accept receiving newsletters by e-post or would read or print from our website, please send us a note advising us of your e-mail address. We will certainly continue to mail hard copy to those with no electronic access or those requesting one be mailed, but we do have to watch our printing and mailing costs.
Best of the fall season to everyone!
John Stinson, Secretary
Margaree Salmon Association
A Letter from Wild Salmon Unlimited
First, on behalf of Wild Salmon Unlimited, I’ll take this opportunity to thank your president, Lester Wood, for his kind invitation that allows us to briefly tell you, in your own newsletter, about who we are and what we do.
Wild Salmon Unlimited, (aka WSU), is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to fund the restoration of wild Atlantic salmon to their native rivers. We do this in partnership with river associations, governments, First Nations and other like-minded non-government organizations (NGOs). Basically, we want to see salmon put back in rivers, contribute to their conservation and protection plus increase their potential to, once again, be a major influence on the economic landscape of our rural communities.
Although a relatively new organization we’ve received considerable support for our mission from: First Nations, all levels of government, corporations and NGOs. It is perhaps important to be very specific here, and clearly indicate, that we are a “fund raising organization”. Our funds come from private and public donors, government agencies and from our own efforts through ticket sales and raffles. Over the past year we developed plans to help restore Atlantic salmon to two river systems in Nova Scotia. These plans were developed in partnership with local river associations and First Nations people but, in the end, they did not meet Fisheries and Oceans approval and, as a consequence, our funding requests were declined. Although, as mentioned earlier, we are a fundraising group we were directly involved in the planning of this initiative in order to familiarize ourselves with the intricacies of the process. This, of course, will enable us to be better prepared to help organizations that we will fund in future.
We are currently in the initial stages of planning an enhancement program for the Grand River in Cape Breton. Our partners in this endeavour are Potlotek First Nations, UINR, the Richmond County Wildlife Association, Université Sainte-Anne and Dalhousie University’s Aquaculture Department. Also, some members of our executive will soon embark on an “information journey” throughout Nova Scotia. We plan to visit with river associations, First Nations groups, government agencies and conservation organizations to explain our goals and garner support for future endeavours.
The first of those sessions will be at MSA as your president, Lester, has also offered us an opportunity to give a briefing about our group at your next AGM. We look forward to that and to hearing about the good work MSA has been doing here on the Margaree.
As we all know Atlantic salmon need all the help they can get. Together we can make a difference. US President Harry Truman once said: It’s amazing what can get done if nobody cares who gets the credit.
P.J.Wall, Vice President
Margaree Salmon Association
from the Atlantic Salmon Federation
It’s hard to believe but one year has already passed since ASF and the Miramichi Salmon Association called on the Canadian government to immediately address the crisis facing the survival of wild Atlantic salmon. The numbers of salmon returning to many Canadian rivers, including the Miramichi, were among the lowest on record in 2014. Last fall, ASF wrote letters to and met with federal Members of Parliament and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) officials. Our efforts were rewarded by DFO Minister Gail Shea, when she created a Ministerial Advisory Committee and charged it with consulting throughout eastern Canada and recommending action to reverse the decline. ASF President Bill Taylor served as Vice Chair of the Committee.
After consultation with stakeholders, First Nations, scientists and managers in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the Committee recommended and the Minister announced mandatory live release and barbless hooks in the Maritimes for the 2015 season. The Committee continued to consult in Newfoundland and Labrador and then Quebec, presented 61 key recommendations to the Minister at the end of July and then a federal election was called. We are working with all federal parties to ensure that they are aware of this important report and have invited their feedback via a survey to all party leaders. This will hopefully give us a running start in getting Atlantic salmon on the agenda of a new government following the election on October 19.
Here in Nova Scotia, we are still waiting on the government’s new regulations as a result of the Doelle-Lahey Independent Aquaculture Regulatory Review Report. We are hopeful that the new regulations will provide much needed protection to wild Atlantic salmon populations in Nova Scotia and also to coastal communities.
ASF is thrilled to see that the first crop of fish from Sustainable Blue is finally coming to market. This land based, closed containment salmon farm uses state-of-the-art technology and will provide a source of Atlantic salmon for consumers in Nova Scotia and beyond grown in an environmentally sustainable way. Land based companies such as Sustainable Blue and Canaqua are proof that Nova Scotia can be a leader in the industry.
Meanwhile, The Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute in West Virginia and ASF are continuing research on land based salmon aquaculture. The next goal is to formulate a locally sourced, fishmeal free and sustainable feed, which will augment the benefits of growing Atlantic salmon on land in closed-containment facilities.
We are pleased to see an increase in salmon returns in 2015 to many rivers throughout eastern Canada. The Margaree seems to be having a very good season, at least compared to last year and that gives us hope, but the fact remains that wild Atlantic salmon populations across North America are in a downward trend, and we must redouble our efforts. We remain cautiously optimistic and cannot stress enough the need for continued vigilance to ensure the future of wild Atlantic salmon.