The topical focus of this paper is the Atlantic salmon fishery. In particular, this paper looks at habitat loss and salmon farming both of which have had major impacts on the sustainability of the fishery. Several efforts have been made to restore Atlantic salmon to their native habitat, specifically in Maine and New Hampshire. This paper reviews the policies that have been implemented, not yet implemented, and a proposed policy.
Historical Background of Atlantic salmon
In 1758, a Swedish naturalist named Carolus Linneas gave the Atlantic salmon its scientific name, Salmo salar which Latin for “the leaper” (Atlantic Salmon Museum, 2014). Today, it still continues to be a well-known and vital part of oceans ecosystems. They are sometimes referred to as the ‘king of fish’ (The North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization, 2014).
Atlantic salmon belongs to the family of Salmonidae (U.S. Food And Drug Administration, 2013). Also, it is in the order of Salmoniformes, which include all salmons, trouts, whitefishes, and smelts (Webb, 2009). A common characteristic of salmonides is the presence of an adipose fin. Atlantic salmon are indigenous to the Atlantic Ocean. Generally, the Atlantic salmon is composed of three different species: North American, European, and Baltic (U.S. Food And Drug Administration, 2013).
The Atlantic salmon fishery
Native Americans and U.S. commercial fisheries started catching Atlantic salmon in the 1600s. The catches in Maine exceeded 90 metric tons in the late 1800s and 45 metric tons in the 1900s. However since 1948, U.S. commercial fisheries have remained closed. For recreational purposes, fishermen have angled Atlantic salmon since 1932. In the Dennys River in Maine, the first Atlantic salmon was caught on rod and reel (NOAA, n.d.).
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the Atlantic salmon is listed as “Least Concern” ().
The Atlantic salmon is an anadromous species, meaning that they are born in freshwater (Defenders of Wildlife, n.d.). Some salmon are both in saltwater and freshwater, however they travel to the ocean, and come back to fresh water to mate and reproduce, this is termed as spawning. Bigelow (as cited in Renzi, 1999) states that “Large cool rivers with extensive gravelly bottom headwaters are crucial to the Atlantic salmon’s early stages of life”.
Scott and Crossman (as cited in Renzi, 1999) stated that the Atlantic salmon is a native to the basin of the North Atlantic Ocean, from the Arctic Circle to Portugal in the eastern Atlantic, from Iceland and southern Greenland, and from the Ungava region of northern Quebec south to the Connecticut River.
The average size of the Atlantic salmon is 28-30 inches (71-76 cm) long and 8-12 pounds (3.6-5.4 kg) after two years at sea. Adults can grow up to be as large as 30 pounds (13.6 kg); it is rare however (NOAA Fisheries , n.d.). ...