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Canada names first research chair in aquatic restoration, to study salmon population

In this Oct. 12, 2008 file photo, an Atlantic salmon leaps while swimming inside a farm pen near Eastport, Maine. A report from a group advocating for the conservation of wild Atlantic salmon says the number of salmon returning to North America rivers fell to near historic lows last year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Robert F. Bukaty. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Robert F. Bukaty

The federal government is announcing the country’s first research chair in aquatic restoration, which will focus on growing the Atlantic salmon population.

Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said today the research chair will be located at the University of New Brunswick and held by prof. Kurt Samways.

Samways holds a doctorate in biology from the university and has conducted decades of fish-related studies.

Read more: Numbers of large wild Atlantic salmon dipped to near historic lows in 2019

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Wilkinson says the federal government is also adding another $431,000 to Parks Canada’s five-year Atlantic salmon recovery project, which is connected to the research chair.

Samways will work with teams in five national parks in Atlantic Canada – Fundy, Cape Breton Highlands, Gros Morne, Terra Nova and Kouchibouguac — to assess how ecosystems function before and after salmon recovery action.

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The recovery project had been announced in 2019 with an initial $3.7 million in funding.

Click to play video: 'Treaty Day celebrated with over 200 salmon dinners being served'
Treaty Day celebrated with over 200 salmon dinners being served

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 5, 2020.

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