Not-for-profit organization to address decline of wild Atlantic salmon
November 5, 2016 – Miramichi, NB – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Collaboration for Atlantic Salmon Tomorrow Inc. (CAST) will soon be implementing its program to improve Atlantic salmon stocks in the Miramichi and Restigouche rivers, thanks to investments of more than $4.7 million from the federal and provincial governments.
Pat Finnigan, Member of Parliament for Miramichi – Grand Lake, and the Honourable Bill Fraser, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and Minister responsible for the Northern and Miramichi Funds, today joined CAST representatives and industry stakeholders to make the funding announcement.
The funding will help CAST implement the first phase of a comprehensive Atlantic Salmon Recovery Program, which includes three innovative research projects. The program’s success could have widespread benefits, potentially serving as a model to help replenish stocks in other Atlantic Canadian and eastern North American rivers that have been gradually declining for 50 years, including regions where the species has been listed as endangered.
The Government of Canada is providing a non-repayable contribution of up to $2,457,257 through ACOA’s Business Development Program while the Province of New Brunswick is investing up to $2,300,000 through the Miramichi Regional Economic Development and Innovation Fund for the project.
This important project builds on the Government of Canada’s commitment to drive economic growth in Atlantic Canada through innovation as announced in July 2016 as part of the Atlantic Growth Strategy.
“The Atlantic salmon recreational fishery in the Miramichi River is a multi-million dollar industry that attracts thousands of visitors from around the world. This investment is an example of the Government of Canada’s commitment to build on competitive regional advantages by supporting research to help this economically significant fishery remain healthy for future generations.”
– Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA
“The Government of Canada is pleased to support CAST and its innovative research in an effort to help increase the number of Atlantic salmon returning to our rivers. The economic benefits of this project will extend well beyond the immediate fisheries research jobs being created, as a healthy Atlantic salmon population will help draw an increasing number of tourists to the entire region.”
– Pat Finnigan, MP for Miramichi-Grand Lake
“Your government understands what matters to New Brunswickers. We know how important creating jobs, growing the economy, and securing health care and education are to New Brunswickers and their families. We are proud to partner in this most important research project as salmon fishing contributes to our provincial economy by creating jobs, expenditures on food and beverages, transportation, accommodations, guiding and other tourism related spending.”
– Honourable Bill Fraser, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and Minister responsible for the Northern and Miramichi Funds
“We thank ACOA and the Province of New Brunswick for their support of the CAST research initiative, a science-based team effort to save wild Atlantic salmon. Today’s funding contributions are vital to preserving and growing wild Atlantic salmon populations for generations to come.”
– Brian Moore, President, CAST
- CAST is a unique collaboration of industry leaders, conservation groups and scientists that was created in 2015 to address salmon conservation in New Brunswick.
- One research project will use remote sensing technology to better understand global climate change, warming water conditions and their impact on wild Atlantic salmon.
- Sonar technology will be used in a second project to more accurately determine the number of out-migrating juvenile salmon and returning adult salmon to compare with previous data.
- The Adult Salmon Release Program is a project that involves converting an existing facility near Miramichi to rear wild smolts in captivity, in order to provide enough mature adults to release into rivers with low populations.
- Atlantic salmon is currently on the endangered species list in the United States, the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia.
Lisa GautreauActing Senior Communications OfficerAtlantic Canada Opportunities Agency506-471-1565
Bruce MacFarlaneCommunicationsRegional Development Corporation506-444-4377
Shirley Roach-AlbertExecutive DirectorCAST506-651-0362