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Wildlife Federations and Hunters & Anglers:

The Newfoundland & Labrador Wildlife Federation ( NLWF ) held a series of meetings across the province to gauge the attitude of the fishermen, in particular Atlantic salmon fishers, on an article that appeared in Forbes magazine June 14th/2013 by Monte Burke in which Mr Burke quotes from the Atlantic Salmon Federation website "Endangered Atlantic salmon are facing a new and potential devestating threat". Also, the same theme and article appears in the Atlantic Salmon Federation site. What has upset the anglers of this province is the statements made by ASF 's director-Bill Taylor."If we truly want to save the sport of fishing for Atlantic salmon , we must release every fish we catch and never kill another one, now and forever."

The only salmon stocks that " may" be threatened are on our South East Coast- where all the open pen fin fish salmon aquaculture occurs. The threat to salmon is not from the majority of fishers who like to keep the permitted number allowed by license--but from aquaculture. Where there is no aquaculture the salmon stocks are fine. The thought of never again being allowed to enjoy the historical outdoor activity is unacceptable to the tens of thousands of salmon fishers in this province. These are the same people who give up countless days of time meeting with DFO on how to best manage and conserve our salmon.

The majority of salmon fishers in this province do not wish to see catch & release only for Atlantic salmon. I am sure that there is a large portion of salmon fishers in the rest of Easter Canada who will agree with our position. Only the rich will be able to afford to spend the money to do this, effectively privatizatizing the resource--a resource which belongs to the people. This is not acceptable.

The results of these meeings was a resounding need to call a general meeting of outdoor conservation organizations, and the public--under the umbrells of NLWF-- and to send a clear message to ASF and the DFO minister that the majority of salmon fishers in this province do not agree with a catch & release only fishery for Atlantic salmon.

This meeting was called and attended by the majority of outdoor organizations. The most vocal opposition came from Chief Calvin Francis-representating his 1st nations people. All other participants and the public voiced their concerns on this article by ASF--and their concerns was to oppose it every way possible, including sending correspondance to the Prime Minister and his Ministers, advising thePrime Minister that ASF doen not speak for the majority of salmon fishers in this province. The majority of salmon fishers in this province wish to be able to eat wild salmon and not have to buy diseased farmed salmon to eat.

Chief Francis and the Outfitters Association and the conservation organizations cited the potential loss of outfitting jobs, loss in tousism, and major financial impact on the local business community, including sporting stores, gas bars, hotels and so on down the line.

This call for catch & release fishing only by ASF stems from the fact that Greenland is now engaged in a salmon fishery.

To see the article go to: http://asf.ca/atlantic-salmon-with-a-new-and-dangerous-threat.html

The salmon fishers of this province are upset by statements by ASF Director-Bill Taylor " no one should keep and kill an Atlantic salmon anymore" and :" we do not need to eat wild salmon anymore". There have been warnings from the Medical Association of Norway warning people not to eat farmed salmon. Is Bill Taylor telling us to eat farmed salmon? NLWF suspects that there would be a lot of anglers across Canada that would also be upset by this.

NLWF has submitted a brief to HAAP and has requested that this be an agenda item for our next meeting.

NLWF would like to seek your support on this issue.

Rick Bouzan
NLWF