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North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization
Conserving and restoring wild Atlantic salmon

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Habitat Protection and Restoration

Pelagic Trawl Spacer Shoal Spacer Wilfred Templeman
Improvement works on the Glenglosh River, Ireland, to address problems caused by overgrazing. (Above - before works; below - after works)   Bank improvement works
Photographs courtesy of Central Fisheries Board, Ireland
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Over the last 150 years much salmon habitat has been lost and this must have been a major contributory factor to the decline in wild salmon stocks. Causes include visible factors, such as hydro-electric dams, and the invisible, but highly damaging, impacts of acid rain. There may be physical, chemical or biological impacts on habitat. Read more...

The goal for NASCO and its Parties is to maintain and, where possible, increase the current productive capacity of Atlantic salmon habitat and in order to assist achieve this NASCO has developed a Plan of Action for Habitat Protection and Restoration Read more....

The key issues in relation to habitat protection and restoration are to:

  • ensure effective implementation of NASCO’s Plan of Action for Habitat Protection and Restoration;
  • enhance sharing and exchange of information on habitat issues and best management practices between NASCO Parties and other relevant international bodies;
  • maintain the NASCO salmon rivers database.

The Action Plan requires:

  • development of comprehensive plans to protect and restore habitat;
  • establishment of inventories of salmon habitat.

In 2010, NASCO adopted Guidelines for the Protection, Restoration and Enhancement of Atlantic Salmon Habitat. These Guidelines are intended to assist the jurisdictions make further progress in implementing NASCO’s agreements. Read more... (These Guidelines are also available in French. Read more...)

Progress in implementing NASCO's Agreements and Guidelines relating to habitat protection and restoration is assessed through review of Implementation Plans, Focus Area Reports and Annual Progress Reports. Read more...

Further information: