International Atlantic Salmon 2016 Assessment Report Available
2016 International Council for the Exploration of the Seas’ Working Group on North Atlantic Salmon Annual Report
The Working Group on North Atlantic Salmon (WGNAS) met at the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas’ headquarters from 30 March–8 April 2016. A total of 23 participants representing ten countries met to consider questions posed to ICES by the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization. Their annual report is organized in five sections addressing the following:
- Catches, farming and significant developments, threats and opportunities;
- The status of stocks in the Northeast Atlantic Commission area;
- The status of stocks in the North American commission area; and
- The status of stocks in the Atlantic salmon in the Greenland commission area.
Major summary of the findings of the WGNAS are as follows:
- The Working Group reported on a range of new findings regarding salmon assessment and management, including tracking of Icelandic salmon, changes in the trophic structure in the Northwest Atlantic, evidence of disease and parasites, development of national assessment methods and review of stocking measures, opportunities for sampling salmon at sea and a review of achievement of river level conservation limits.
- Northern European stock complexes, prior to the commencement of distant-water fisheries 2015 were considered to be at full reproductive capacity. The southern European maturing 1SW stock complex however, was considered to be at risk of suffering reduced reproductive capacity and the non-maturing 1SW stock complex to be suffering reduced reproductive capacity.
- The total estimate of small salmon returns to North America in 2015 was the highest on record (641,110), representing a 27% increase on 2014. Returns to Labrador and Newfoundland together represent 87% of the 2015 total small salmon returns.
- Total estimate of 2SW salmon returns to North America in 2015 (116,000) was 50% higher than the 2014 estimate. Returns from Labrador, Québec and Gulf regions combined represent 94% of 2SW salmon returns to North America.
- Spatially, there is a divergence of salmon returns to NAC; returns in the more northern regions were generally at greater abundance than in previous years. However, returns to more southerly regions were generally among the lowest in their time-series. This spatial trend of increasing abundance in northern regions against decreasing abundance in southern regions generally applies across the time-series.
- In Greenland a total catch of 56.8 t of salmon was reported in 2015. The international sampling program for the fishery at West Greenland continued in 2015 with a total of 1708 individuals sampled for biological characteristics
- There does not appear to be any obvious temporal and/or spatial patterns to the regional contributions to the harvest that would allow for management options to provide increased protection for weaker stocks
ICES. 2016. Report of the Working Group on North Atlantic Salmon (WGNAS), 30 March–8 April 2016, Copenhagen, Denmark. ICES CM 2016/ACOM:10. 323 pp.