St. Andrews…..The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) reports that farmed salmon escapees are entering the MagaguadavicRiver in southwest New Brunswick and the DennysRiver in downeast Maine. “This indicates that another unreported sea cage breach has occurred in the Bay of Fundy,” said Jonathan Carr, ASF’s Director of Research and Environment.

Mr. Carr continued, “Recently, farmed salmon in the same size range are showing up in these rivers, which suggests that the fish are all part of the same escape event. None of the sizes match up with the last three breaches of containment that were reported by the industry late last fall.”

There have been ten farmed escapees caught at the fish ladder on the MagaguadavicRiver, weighing on average 5.4 kg (12 lbs,) and three escaped fish each weighing around 6 kg (13 lbs.) caught in the weir on the DennysRiver. “Fish of that size category are currently being grown in Passamaquoddy Bay, indicating that this is where the breach has occurred,” continued Mr. Carr.

Whereas escaped salmon can be captured and removed on the Magaguadavic and Dennys rivers, there is no way of doing this in many other rivers in the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine. There is a Government of New Brunswick regulation that requires the aquaculture licensee to notify the Registrar of Aquaculture within 24 hours of a confirmation of a breach of containment of 100 salmon or more, and to have a containment management plan in place within 48 hours.

Mr. Carr continued, “Government needs to take a leadership role in monitoring, reporting and enforcement to ensure transparency and accountability regarding escapes. As it stands now, the onus is on ASF to monitor escapees on the MagaguadavicRiver and to report to government and the public on escapes. In view of the dangers farmed escapees present to wild populations, government needs to be much more proactive in enforcing the regulations that do exist.”

When escapees interbreed with the few endangered wild salmon that remain in the Bay of
Fundy, the fitness and survival of these wild Atlantic salmon populations can be harmed. On September 8, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) confirmed the endangered status of the wild populations of the inner and outer Bay of Fundy. The COSEWIC report noted that:

“ …growth of the Canadian aquaculture industry has coincided with severe decline in wild populations in the nearby rivers in the Bay of Fundy.”

“In North America, farm-origin salmon have been reported in 87% of the rivers investigated within 300 km of aquaculture sites.”

“Even small percentages of escaped farmed salmon have the potential to negatively affect resident populations, either through demographic or genetic changes…There have been many reviews and studies showing that the presence of farmed salmon results in reduced survival and fitness of wild Atlantic salmon.”

These statements by COSEWIC emphasize the need to keep farmed and wild salmon apart.

Mr. Carr concluded, “The continuation of escapes into the wild underscores the need for closed containment systems such as the one ASF and the Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, are working on together. Our pilot research is providing information that will determine the feasibility of closed containment as an important alternative to open sea cage culture.”

The Atlantic Salmon Federation is dedicated to the conservation, protection and restoration of wild Atlantic salmon and the ecosystems on which their well being and survival depend.

ASF has a network of seven regional councils (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Maine and Western New England). The regional councils cover the freshwater range of the Atlantic salmon in Canada and the United States.

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ASF Contact: Muriel Ferguson, Communications 506 529-1033 or 506 529-4581

News from Groups Archives

Upcoming Events


Peace and Friendship Alliance Gathering
Fri, Nov 24th, 2017


A Tale of Two Necessities: Children and Resource Development
Tue, Nov 28th, 2017
New Maryland

Deadline for ETF submission
Thu, Nov 30th, 2017

Action Alerts

Have your say on Draft Water Strategy!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017
by Conservation Council of New Brunswick
A Water Strategy for New Brunswick

On October 6, 2017, the department of Environment and Local Government released a draft water strategy for comments. The draft strategy is available on the government website. Comments can be submitted by email to: waterstrategy-strategiedeleau@gnb.ca or by mail to: Department of Environment and Local Government, Policy and Planning Division, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, N.B., E3B 5H1. Comments will be accepted until November 20, 2017.

In order to help groups with their submissions, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, in cooperation with watershed groups, has put together key elements of a watershed strategy and a sample letter to send to the Department.

Summary​ ​of​ ​8​ ​Key​ ​Elements​ ​of​ ​a​ ​Strong​ ​Water​ ​Protection​ ​Strategy

New​ ​Brunswick​ ​deserves​ ​a​ ​water​ ​protection​ ​strategy​ ​that:
    1. is​​ ​​science-based;​ ​(involving​ ​baseline​ ​data,​ ​tracking​ ​and​ ​taking​ ​into​ ​consideration cumulative​ ​impacts,​ ​environmental​ ​flows)
    2. sets​ ​water​ ​quality​ ​standards​ ​within​ ​a​ ​working,​ ​legal​ ​mechanism;
    3. conserves​ ​all​ ​water​ ​within​ ​​watersheds​ ​including​ ​surface​ ​waters​ ​(lakes,​ ​streams,​ ​rivers) and​ ​groundwater,​ ​by​ ​developing​ ​good​ ​conservation​ ​plans,​ ​policies​ ​and​ ​practices,​ ​and uses​ ​the​ ​precautionary​ ​principle​ ​as​ ​a​ ​guiding,​ ​legally​ ​enforceable​ ​tool;
    4. protects​ ​our​ ​marine​ ​coastal​ ​areas​ ​in​ ​law;
    5. has​ ​a​ ​meaningful​ ​form​ ​of​ ​​co-governance​ ​with​ ​First​ ​Nations;
    6. includes​ ​the​ ​development,​ ​implementation​ ​and​ ​enforcement​ ​of​ ​watershed​ ​protection plans,​ ​developed​ ​in​ ​a​ ​transparent​ ​manner,​ ​involving​ ​government,​ ​businesses,​ ​watershed organizations,​ ​farmers,​ ​municipal​ ​officials,​ ​and​ ​citizens;
    7. is​ ​accountable,​ ​which​ ​includes​ ​ongoing​ ​monitoring​ ​and​ ​annual​ ​reporting​ ​to​ ​the​ ​public​ ​on the​ ​progress​ ​of​ ​goals​ ​and​ ​objectives​ ​outlined​ ​in​ ​the​ ​water​ ​protection​ ​strategy;​ ​and,
    8. is​​ ​enforceable​ ​through​ ​a​ ​modern​ ​legal​ ​framework
Sample Letter
 My name is ______, and I am writing to express my support for a strong Water Strategy in New Brunswick.

I live near ______ OR I live in ___________ watershed

Describe your favourite spot to fish/swim/paddle etc.

Share your favourite water memory.

Clean, healthy water is important to me because _____________.

Have you recently experienced a boil water order? Blue-green algae? Extreme weather? Describe what is of concern to you.

I applaud the provincial government for moving forward on its commitment to protecting our water; however I believe the draft strategy does not go far enough to ensure healthy water for my watershed.

We need a water protection strategy that (Insert one or multiple key elements).

I am afraid that if left unattended, my watershed will face ongoing and increasing treats from (pollution, wetland and coastal estuary loss, loss of adequate environmental flow to sustain aquatic life, and increasing climate change impacts such as floods, droughts, and high temperatures.)

Please protect my watershed by implementing a strong water protection strategy with modern legislation that (note key element(s)) to ensure the health of our water and people.

Thank you,
Your name.

For more information, visit the CCNB's website.

Call for nominations for the NBEN Awards - 2017

Monday, 31 July 2017
by Annika Chiasson
Every day people and environmental groups take action to protect and restore New Brunswick’s environment.  

Over this past year, who stands out in your mind? 

We invite you to nominate a group or individual deserving of one of the NBEN awards which will be presented in style at Eco-Confluence 2017.  Send an e-mail to nben@nben.ca describing your nominee’s work.  Nominees must be members or associates of the NBEN*.

Nomination deadline is September 13, 2017.

*Current NBEN Steering Committee members are not eligible for awards.