International Governance of Fisheries Ecosystems: Learning from the Past, Finding Solutions for the Future

Chapter 15: The Challenges Posed by International Management of Atlantic Salmon: Balancing Commercial, Recreational, and Societal Interests—The North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization

Mary Colligan, Tim Sheehan, Jessica Pruden, and John Kocik

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781888569995.ch15

Exploitation of Atlantic salmon prior to the 1960s was prosecuted mainly in homewater fisheries. In the 1960s, commercial fisheries began to be prosecuted on the marine feeding grounds of Atlantic salmon (Mills 1983). The emergence of mixed-stock fisheries at West Greenland, the northern Norwegian Sea, and the Faroe Islands prompted the need for international cooperation for the management of Atlantic salmon stocks. Prior studies had determined the true mixed-stock nature of these high seas fisheries. The West Greenland fishery primarily harvests fish originating from North America and Southern Europe whereas the Norwegian Sea and Faroese fisheries harvest fish from all European salmon producing countries. During the development of these commercial fisheries, many homewaters countries were observing declines in their returns and catches, which prompted concern and the need for international action. In 1978, an international Atlantic Salmon Symposium sponsored by the Atlantic Salmon Trust and the Atlantic Salmon Federation called for an international treaty agreement which would ban fishing for Atlantic salmon beyond 12 nautical miles, provide a mechanism for cooperation among all countries in conservation, regulation, and enforcement measures, and provide a forum for international cooperation on research and exchange of data on Atlantic salmon.