Faroes and Greenland agree wild salmon ban

GREENLAND and the Faroe Islands have agreed to halt all commercial salmon fishing for the next few years in an effort to allow wild stocks to recover, including those in Scotland’s River Tweed.
In the case of the Faroe Islands, which is well established as a major salmon farming country, the government in Torshavn has voted to continue an already 27-year long suspension. The Greenland moratorium will last at least 12 years.
Both deals were signed were signed in the Icelandic capital Reykjavik with the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) and the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF).
The two organisations say that the agreements will ‘protect thousands of adult wild Atlantic salmon from commercial nets and longlines, allowing them to return to North American and European rivers’.
‘The coastal waters of Greenland and the Faroe Islands are critical ocean feeding grounds for large wild Atlantic salmon from hundreds of rivers in North America and Europe,’ they said.
Commercial catches in these areas are known as ‘mixed stock’ fisheries because salmon are captured from relatively healthy populations as well as endangered ones. This impacts vulnerable rivers like the Penobscot River in the US and the St John River in Canada, as well as iconic rivers with reduced counts, such as the Tweed in Scotland, Iceland’s Big Laxa, and the Alta in Norway.
ASF President Bill Taylor said: ‘Significantly reducing the harvest of wild Atlantic salmon on their ocean feeding grounds is meaningful and decisive, not only for salmon conservation, but also for global biodiversity and the health of our rivers and oceans.’
And NASF US chairman Chad Pike added: ‘The best way to save North Atlantic salmon is to reduce the number killed.’

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