Maine's N. Atlantic Salmon Fed to Dogs in Greenland

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Maine's N. Atlantic Salmon Fed to Dogs in Greenland

RiverCurrents: June 14, 2002
The weekly newsletter for the river community
US agrees to harvest of endangered Atlantic salmonUnited States delegates to an international treaty on
wild Atlantic salmon recently agreed to allow a foreign
commercial harvest of fish from the last surviving,
critically endangered salmon runs in Northeastern United
States. Following a decision to bar press from the meeting,
delegates to the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation
Organization (NASCO) adopted, with US approval, a plan
under which Greenland could harvest up to 55 tons of
salmon in waters where the endangered US fish
congregate. The salmon are not needed for subsistence,
and many are expected to be used as dogfood
(World Wildlife Fund press release, 6-7-02)."This decision to risk extinction of the few remaining
wild salmon in Maine to feed dogs in Greenland is
inexplicable," said Tom Grasso of WWF-US "The commercial
fishery on North American salmon feeding grounds at West
Greenland may kill the last of the United States' wild
Atlantic salmon, listed by the government as endangered
in 2000..."Atlantic Salmon Federation President Bill Taylor called
on the US and Canadian governments to help develop a
conservation agreement with the Greenland fishermen that
"terminates the commercial salmon fishery and provides
fair compensation, while maintaining a reasonable
fishery for internal consumption." According to the WWF press release, in 2001, 67 percent
of salmon caught in West Greenland waters came from North
American runs. If the full 55 tons of salmon is caught in
the coming year, the take could include up to 600 of the
endangered US North Atlantic salmon "which cling to
survival in only eight rivers, in the state of Maine."