Press Release, Salmon Watch Ireland: Mixed bag of outcomes from North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation meeting, 2-6 June

Press Release: Salmon Watch Ireland: Mixed bag of outcomes from North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation meeting, 2-6 June


8 June 2015


The North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (‘NASCO’) failed to determine a quota for the West Greenland fishery for the coming season at its 2-6 June meeting in Goose Bay, Canada.  The Greenland government has, however, unilaterally committed to limiting the catch in the fishery to 45 tonnes in each of 2015, 2016 and 2017 and has agreed with NASCO to introduce a more rigorous regulatory system.  These measures, if successful, could reduce the catch to about half what it was in 2014 but must be seen in the context of advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (‘ICES’) to the meeting that the state of Atlantic salmon stocks did not justify the catching of any salmon in West Greenland waters other than a small subsistence fishery.


Commenting on the NASCO outcome, Niall Greene, chair of the board of Salmon Watch Ireland said:  ‘The inability of the parties at NASCO to establish a comprehensive internationally agreed framework for fishing off West Greenland is a matter of grave concern.  This is the site of the feeding grounds for significant numbers of European, mainly multi-sea-winter, salmon and for virtually all of those from Canada and the US.  Salmon from Irish rivers are scientifically estimated to constitute about 4% of all salmon feeding at West Greenland and consequently a catch of 45 tonnes will mean that about 1.7 tonnes or 500 to 600 Irish originating fish could be affected.   It is vital that the EU, Canada and the US, the parties directly involved with the Greenland government in determining the West Greenland quota, start now to lay the groundwork for returning to an internationally agreed regime at the 2016 NASCO conference.’


More positively, the NASCO meeting agreed to hold a one day special session on salmon farming at its 2016 conference, focusing on sea-lice and containment.  This resulted from a proposal by the non-governmental organisations at NASCO, including Salmon Watch Ireland.  Welcoming the initiative,  Mr Greene said that the special session ‘is a significant development which will help to shine a light internationally on Ireland’s appalling record in the siting and management of salmon farms and its’ failure to take any steps for a transition to more sustainable methods of salmon farming, including closed containment’.





For further information contact Niall Greene 086 826 9222,



  •  Salmon Watch Ireland is a membership-based organization devoted to salmon conservation and the restoration of salmon abundance.  It is one of the 34 non-governmental organisations with observer status at NASCO.
  • NASCO is a treaty based intergovernmental organisation founded in 1984 with the objective of conserving, restoring and managing wild Atlantic salmon stocks.  Its governmental members are Canada, Denmark (in respect of Greenland and the Faroe Islands, the EU, Norway, the Russian Federation and the US.  It has 34 accredited non-governmental organisations which play an active role in its deliberations. 

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