Prior to the 1960s, exploitation of salmon in the North Atlantic was at a national level. The subsequent development of fisheries at West Greenland and in the Northern Norwegian Sea meant that rational management could only be achieved through international cooperation.
The Convention for the Conservation of Salmon in the North Atlantic Ocean entered into force on 1 October 1983 and created an inter-governmental organization, the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO). NASCO's objective is to conserve, restore, enhance and rationally manage wild Atlantic salmon. View the Convention...
The Convention created a large protected zone, free of targeted fisheries for Atlantic salmon in most areas beyond 12 nautical miles from the coast. One immediate effect was the cessation of the salmon fishery in the Northern Norwegian Sea which at its peak in 1970 harvested almost 1,000 tonnes of salmon.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, NASCO acted through diplomatic initiatives to address fishing for salmon in international waters by vessels registered to non-NASCO Parties. There have been no reports of such activities since.
While NASCO's initial focus was very much on developing management measures for the distant-water fisheries at West Greenland and the Faroe Islands, it is widely accepted that conservation and restoration of salmon stocks cannot be achieved by these measures alone. NASCO has considerably broadened its base and now addresses a wide range of issues including management of salmon fisheries by States of Origin, habitat protection and restoration and aquaculture and related activities.