Saving the salmon

| January 5, 2014 | 1 Comment
Velma McColl, ASF Committee; Yemeni Ambassador Khaled Mahfoudh Bahah; Fiona Gilfillan, ASF Committee; Michael Meighen, Chairman, Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF).

Velma McColl, ASF Committee; Yemeni Ambassador Khaled Mahfoudh Bahah;
Fiona Gilfillan, ASF Committee; Michael Meighen, Chairman, Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF). Photo: Lois Siegel

There was nothing fishy about the Atlantic Salmon Federation’s 17th Annual Ottawa Fall Run Conservation Dinner and auction at the Museum of Civilization — except maybe the platters of Nova Scotia smoked salmon.
Since 1948, the federation, along with 100 affiliated river-conservation groups and more than 30,000 volunteers, have been opening their wallets and raising money and their voices to protect Atlantic salmon and their habitat. Projects include researching the damage done by overcrowded ocean-penned salmon farms — including escapees interbreeding with and spreading sea lice infestations and diseases to wild salmon.

Front row from left, Donna Jacobs, publisher of Diplomat; Tony Clement, president of the Treasury Board; Deborah Perzow; former Guatemalan Ambassador Georges de la Roche. Back row from left, Bill Nowell, from the Atlantic Salmon Federation committee and Dawson Hovey, event chairman.

Front row from left, Donna Jacobs, publisher of Diplomat; Tony Clement, president of the Treasury Board; Deborah Perzow; former Guatemalan Ambassador Georges de la Roche. Back row from left, Bill Nowell, from the Atlantic Salmon Federation committee and Dawson Hovey, event chairman. Photo: Lois Siegel

Photo: Lois Siegel

The federation supports a successful alternative — land-based aquaculture. In fact, the Nova Scotia salmon served at the event was raised in such a facility, which produces a taste-tested superior product without risk to wild salmon and other fish.
Other projects include tracking Canadian salmon on their migration to Greenland before returning to spawn in Canadian rivers, especially important with Greenland’s resumption last year of commercial fishing, which involves fishing adult salmon before they return to Canadian waters to spawn.

From left, Dan Greenberg, Peter Bennett, Icelandic Ambassador Thordur Aegir Oskarsson, Jamie Johnson and Andrew Johnson.

From left, Dan Greenberg, Peter Bennett, Icelandic Ambassador Thordur Aegir Oskarsson, Jamie Johnson and Andrew Johnson. Photo:Lois Siegel

The dinner and auction, attended by 220 people, was emceed by CBC’s Evan Solomon, (himself a salmon fisher with a special interest in river ecology). The evening began with a report on salmon-preservation projects and finished with a concert from acclaimed Canadian tenor, John McDermott, fiddler Anne Lindsay and guitarist Jason Fowler.

The Atlantic Salmon Federation Fall Run Dinner volunteers. (Front row)  Peter Souchen, Andrea MacLean, Anick Sabourin, Kasie Graham, (middle) Jessica Kovar (back row) Liane Nowell, Rob Dekker, Barbara Casson, Jamie Pistilli, Natalya Obushenko, Tom Ursia, Becca Hall and Andrew Doran

The Atlantic Salmon Federation Fall Run Dinner volunteers. (Front row) Peter Souchen, Andrea MacLean, Anick Sabourin, Kasie Graham, (middle) Jessica Kovar (back row) Liane Nowell, Rob Dekker, Barbara Casson, Jamie Pistilli, Natalya Obushenko, Tom Ursia, Becca Hall and Andrew Doran. Photo:Lois Siegel

Working with dinner committee chair Dawson Hovey, Diplomat magazine invited some ambassadors to the event. Among the guests were Icelandic Ambassador Thordur Aegir Oskarsson, Irish Ambassador Ray Bassett, former Guatemalan Ambassador Georges de la Roche and Yemeni Ambassador Khaled Mahfoudh Bahah. The event raised $90,000.

Donna Jacobs is Diplomat’s publisher

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Donna Jacobs is Diplomat's publisher

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  1. Terran says:

    Atlantic Salmon Federation actually released hundreds of thousands of interbred salmon smolts in to the Bay Of Fundy, a few decades ago, so they are as responsible as anyone if there are any interbred fish showing up in studies that are less than pure strain. Could it be by coincidence that the wild salmon run in the Bay of Fundy declined just after this research project?

    From what I have read, these large land-based salmon feedlots are planning to crowd the fish up to seven times what is the present practices and they are reared in their own wastes which cannot be 100% removed from the recirculated water.

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