Our Work

Wild Atlantic salmon are seen by millions of people as the symbol of healthy rivers. They are admired for their successful migrations across thousands of kilometres to distant ocean pastures and their return to their birth rivers.

Our culture has not always treated wild Atlantic salmon well. Acid rain, bad forestry practices, industrial wastes and genetic degradation from escaping farmed salmon are just a few of the impacts that have taken a toll.  With all these stressors, mortality at sea doubled, and the numbers plummeted. Atlantic salmon populations reached a low point in 2001.

But with action taken by ASF, its partners, and some governments, that downward spiral has been halted, and runs are improving.

The Atlantic Salmon Federation is actively working to restore wild Atlantic salmon populations to historic high levels. To have the greatest impact, ASF uses a set of guiding principles:

  • Seek partnerships wherever possible to leverage the greatest benefits for projects
  • Base actions on sound science
  • Find innovative, pioneering solutions that produce win-win situations for all involved, especially Atlantic salmon
  • Provide detailed expert advice to government, to those potentially impacting wild Atlantic salmon, and to the public
  • Educate anglers on the reasons for and proper techniques of live release of all Atlantic salmon
  • Remind government and the public that Atlantic salmon have an important economic value that pays dividends to the many rural communities near the rivers where they spawn
  • Encourage governments to exercise responsibility for both Atlantic salmon and for the rivers and marine areas in which they exist, including all other native species that are part of their environment

Some of ASF's many exciting projects. Among them:
  • The Penobscot River restoration program, with major dams being removed following 14 years of negotiating, developing cooperative arrangements, meticulous planning and massive fundraising.
  • Pioneering work at sea, tracking wild Atlantic salmon with new technology co-developed by ASF. This work is helping us understand the locations and extent of mortality for Atlantic salmon in the ocean.
  • The first liming project of an Atlantic salmon river in North America. Again developed through partnerships, and extensive fundraising, it has been spectacularly successful.

Explore ASF's priority issues. Read more