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Minister Sean Kyne TD Welcomes Positive Outcomes from International North Atlantic Salmon Discussions

NASCO Strengthens Protection of Migrating Salmon


Embargo: 0:01 am 21st June 2018


Sean Kyne TD, Minister with responsibility for the inland fisheries sector, today welcomed the positive outcome from the International discussions at the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO) annual meeting in Portland Maine USA. 


Minister Kyne said, "our Departmental officials and those of Inland Fisheries Ireland represented Ireland at the negotiations as part of the EU delegation. They joined delegates from the EU, USA, Canada, Norway, the Russian Federation, Greenland and the Faroes".


"The outcome of the week long discussions is that, for the period 2019-2022, no harvest fishery will take place off the Faroe Islands and the restrictions on the fishery off West Greenland have been strengthened.  I am pleased that these two important regulatory measures were agreed in a spirit of international cooperation", he added. 


The Minister emphasised the importance of these measures for Irish salmon migrating to distant feeding grounds before returning to their natal rivers in adulthood to spawn. 


The Minister said "the migratory stock complex travelling through Faroese waters comprises a majority component of European river stocks, including those from Ireland, and the measure to have no commercial fishing in these waters is important for these vulnerable stocks".  I am particularly pleased that the discussions on the Faroes area were chaired by Ireland, on behalf of the EU", he added.  


The majority component of the stock complex migrating to Greenlandic waters originates from the North American Continent and the restriction on fishing in this area assists these stocks as well as the smaller European component.  The agreed level of potential catch, for the internal use fishery in Greenland, is reduced by some 33% over the quota set in each of the last three years.  Agreement was also reached on increased monitoring and control of the fishery.


The NASCO meeting also considered the factors that affect the marine survival of Atlantic salmon, with scientists, including those from Inland Fisheries Ireland, engaged in cutting edge work to identify and address those causes.  Determining why salmon are dying at sea before they can come back to their natal rivers to spawn is a key research priority. A new innovative approach to oceanic long range acoustic monitoring, "ROAM", will allow salmon to be tracked through the marine environment. The approach is intended to overcome many of the significant challenges associated with tracking Atlantic salmon throughout their extensive marine migration.


Minister Kyne concluded that the measures taken in Ireland, over a decade ago, to protect migratory salmon stocks have pointed the way internationally and the latest agreements at NASCO demonstrate restraints on exploiting Irish and other stocks as they migrate outside our waters.




Notes for Editors:


NASCO (North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation) is an international organization, established by an inter-governmental Convention in 1984. Its objective is to conserve, restore, enhance and rationally manage Atlantic salmon through international cooperation taking account of the best available scientific information.


NASCO has six Governmental Parties: Canada, Denmark (in respect of the Faroe Islands & Greenland), the European Union, Norway, the Russian Federation and the United States of America.  Irelands Delegation is with the EU party.


NASCO also has 34 accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The NGO Group generally sets out common views on NASCO proposals and business and takes part in Commission discussions.

The Organization conducts its business via Council (all parties and NGOs in plenary session) and via its North American Commission (NAC), North-East Atlantic Commission (NEAC) and West Greenland Commission (WGC).  It also has a research body – the International Atlantic Salmon Research Board (IASRB)


Ireland's interests are on the NEAC and WCG and also in participating on the IASRB and its scientific sub-group the Scientific Advisory Group which is chaired by Ireland.



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