A deal has been reached that will halt commercial salmon fishing in Greenland and the Faroe Islands for the next 12 years to allow adult wild Atlantic salmon to return to rivers in Canada, the United States, and Europe, reports CBC.ca.
Salmon from more than 2,000 rivers converge on Greenland and Faroe Islands waters. Some are healthy, but others are endangered salmon from the St. John River and Penobscot River in Maine, writes CBC.ca.
“It’s a huge win for wild Atlantic salmon, particularly in Canada,” said Bill Taylor, the president of the Atlantic Salmon Federation. “In a given year 75 or 80 per cent of salmon caught in Greenland are of Canadian origin.”
Globalnews.ca adds that ”in exchange for commercial fishermen not setting their nets, the Atlantic Salmon Federation and the North Atlantic Salmon Fund will financially support alternative economic development in Greenland, scientific research, and education projects focused on marine conservation.”
The financial details are being kept confidential, but Atlantic Salmon Federation spokesman Neville Crabbe said no government money is involved. He said all funding for the initiative will be raised through donors and fund raising by the two private groups.
Greenland fishermen will still be able to catch up to 20 metric tonnes each year for personal and family consumption.
On the Faroe Islands, there will be no salmon fishing at all.
The 12-year commercial fishing hiatus will provide relief for two entire generations of wild Atlantic salmon and officials say they expect the population benefits to be significant. Declining wild salmon stocks have been a concern for years, with both overfishing and global warming being blamed, writes Globalnews.ca.
Delegations from Greenland and the Faroe Islands will declare the zero commercial quotas at next month’s international summit in Portland, Maine, but they are retroactive to April 31.