Chapter 8. Closing the North American Mixed-Stock Commercial Fishery for Wild Atlantic Salmon

  1. Derek Mills MSc, PhD, FIFM, FLS
  1. S. Chase

Published Online: 20 NOV 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470995495.ch8

Salmon at the Edge

Salmon at the Edge

How to Cite

Chase, S. (2003) Closing the North American Mixed-Stock Commercial Fishery for Wild Atlantic Salmon, in Salmon at the Edge (ed D. Mills), Blackwell Science Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470995495.ch8

Editor Information

  1. Atlantic Salmon Trust

Author Information

  1. Atlantic Salmon Federation, PO Box 5200, St. Andrews, New Brunswick, E5B 3S8, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 NOV 2007
  2. Published Print: 7 JUL 2003

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780632064571

Online ISBN: 9780470995495



  • commercial fishery;
  • mixed-stocks;
  • wild atlantic salmon;
  • north atlantic salmon fund;
  • salmon harvest



This chapter contains sections titled:

  • In 1998, after several years of effort on the part of the Government of Canada, the provinces and the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF), the commercial fishery for wild Atlantic salmon effectively ended in Canada. Steps to end the fishery began in 1966 and proceeded through closures, retirement of licenses, and compensation programmes involving hundreds of commercial salmon fishermen in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. This occurred at immense political and financial cost [$72 million (Canadian)]. In New England, the last elements of the commercial salmon fishery were terminated in 1948 following a catch of 47 salmon.

  • In 1993-94 ASF and the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF) negotiated a two-year compensated conservation agreement with commercial salmon fishermen in Greenland. Following this, the salmon fishery re-emerged, although in a reduced state due to limitations resulting from the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO) treaty. A subsistence fishery was permitted to allow for local needs.

  • More recently, however, the commercial salmon fishery in Greenland has resumed harvest of salmon from North American and European waters. In Labrador, a marine harvest of salmon has also re-emerged through the resident food fishery that intercepts salmon bound for rivers in the Atlantic provinces, Quebec and the USA. Another interceptory fishery in St. Pierre presents risks for salmon in Newfoundland rivers. All of these fisheries threaten the success of restoration of salmon populations in North America to their former abundance.

  • This paper reviews the several measures that were adopted in North American waters to terminate the commercial salmon fishery and the results of these measures. It outlines the many challenges faced by government regulators and non-government organizations in achieving termination of the commercial salmon fishery.