Note - Phone # changed to
DFO's wait-and-see strategy of Atlantic salmon management over the past two decades has failed.
strategy must change, and it must change now if we are to see recovery in streams like Nova Scotia's St. Mary's River.
Why the urgency?
Salmon populations in most Nova Scotia streams are likely to be officially listed under Canada's Species
at Risk Act (SARA) as either ‘threatened’ or ‘endangered’ by 2016. This means no more fisheries, including
aboriginal ceremonial or food fisheries and catch-and-release sport angling. It's already happened to Nova Scotia's
inner Bay of Fundy salmon populations, it's happening in Southern Newfoundland, and it's happening here. What this
likely means is even more complex regulation and limitations to stream access and activities than we endure today.
are warning us that, by 2047, we will all be living in a new and hotter climate. We are already near the southern edge of
North America's Atlantic salmon range, and a hotter climate is likely to push that range northward. That puts us at or
beyond the upper temperature limit for self-sustaining Atlantic salmon. This issue is being mitigated elsewhere and can be
here as well. Right now we should be working on projects that lower stream temperatures, because the issue is already with
us and it will only get worse in future.
I graduated in 1967 with a B.Sc from Mount Allison University. One of the first rules of science I learned
is that "nature abhors a vacuum". This is generally true in the universe, in physics, chemistry, and even biology.
When a species is in decline, others fill the void and take its place in an ecosystem. That means that the more a species
declines, the more difficult recovery will be because it first must regain that place it lost earlier. That's one of the
reasons it's harder to restore a population after it has been extirpated - other occupants stand in its way.