June 9, 2018 7:06 pm
Updated: June 11, 2018 8:02 am

Number of wild Atlantic salmon drops for second straight year

A photo from the Atlantic Salmon Federation shows escaped farmed salmon from the Magaguadavic River in New Brunswick.

Atlantic Salmon Federation

There are fewer wild Atlantic salmon in North American waters, and that’s become a cause for concern for marine experts around the world.

According to the Atlantic Salmon Federation’s (ASF) annual State of Populations report, the number of North American wild Atlantic salmon dropped 15 per cent in 2017.

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READ MORE: Conservation group says no wild Atlantic salmon detected at site in N.B. river

An estimated 496,000 salmon successfully spawned in all continental rivers last year, and ASF says that’s well below minimum conservation limits.

ASF says immediate action needs to be taken. They’re calling on national government delegations in Portland, Maine to “take additional measures in their home waters,” including minimizing or eliminating threats from open net-pen salmon aquaculture, preventing the catch of salmon from threatened and endangered populations, and ensuring that all in-river fisheries are conducted sustainably.

“Overall, we are struggling to restore North American wild Atlantic salmon populations to sustainable levels,” said ASF president Bill Taylor in a statement. “Although there are some bright spots, areas where we are seeing the result of wise management, we must remain concerned about the suite of threats affecting oceans and rivers.”

WATCH: 1,000 Atlantic salmon are back in their natural habitat — N.B.’s Fundy National Park

Back in October 2017, not a single wild Atlantic salmon was found in a New Brunswick river that once held a healthy population of the species.

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