THE WESTERN STAR
Salmon federation all about conservation: Ivany
Published on May 14, 2015
Don Ivany downplays any notion that Atlantic Salmon Federation is just for business and not conservation.
The Newfoundland and Labrador director of programs for the federation made the comment in an interview following his address to the Stephenville Rotary Club on Wednesday.
Ivany said the Atlantic Salmon Federation is first and foremost a conservation organization and its conservation goals are just the same as other organizations.
What Sid Styles, chairman of the Bay St. George Salmon Stewardship Group, is accusing the federation of is just rhetoric, said Ivany. In The Western Starís Wednesday edition, Styles also accused the federation of wanting to get rid of salmon retention in this province in favour of catch and release.
Ivany said Newfoundland and Labrador is fortunate to have a river classification system and the federation is not opposed to anglers retaining fish from rivers that are healthy. He said 43 per cent of the rivers in this province are currently not meeting their minimal spawning requirements, and those are the kind of rivers for which the federation is advocating for catch and release only.
ďIf a resource is under-seeded in a particular river, then you canít take away from it and expect it to last,Ē Ivany said.
The director said the science is clear that if catch and release is done correctly and under the proper conditions, thereís virtually no mortality involved with this method of angling.
Ivany said whatís more important is educating people to do it properly.
Styles claims fish die when catch and release is permitted during high-temperature periods in the summer.
Ivany agrees mortality rates rise when the temperature rises above 18 C, and said angling should not be practised at that time. But, he said, itís not because of catch and release.
During his address, Ivany told Rotarians that the federationís policies are based on good science. He said the organization has seven Eastern Canada and Northeastern United States satellite offices, and works in close contact with 124 affiliated organizations.
He said salmon stocks are probably at an all-time low because of a decline since 2012.
Whatís needed, said Ivany, is the Department of Fisheries Oceans Canada and provincial governments working closely with non-governmental organizations to restore populations.