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International Year of the Salmon - 2019

‘Salmon and People in a Changing World’

The International Year of the Salmon aims to create awareness and foster understanding of the issues facing salmon and their impact on the communities that benefit from the resource. The International Year of the Salmon will take place in 2019.

The two lead organisations are the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO) and the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC).

Why do we need an International Year of the Salmon?

Salmon are an important biological and economic resource throughout the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans and the Baltic Sea (collectively referred to as the ‘salmosphere’). They face many challenges and uncertainties not least those associated with climate change. The International Year of the Salmon aims to engage the public, political representatives and the science community with a view to highlighting this important issue, generating understanding of the social and economic benefits that salmon provide and inspiring action to protect salmon populations.

The pace of scientific efforts to understand the factors effecting salmon is not fast enough to support their management. The International Year of the Salmon intends yo address this by stimulating investment in research which will improve knowledge in this area, provide the necessary data and information systems, inform a new generation of scientists and support salmon conservation and restoration.

Salmosphere

How will International Year of the Salmon work?

The International Year of the Salmon will include public and public outreach initiatives which can be targeted and adapted to different audiences and areas.

It will also engage the scientific community to focus research in this area under a number of proposed themes including:.

  • Status of Salmon: to understand the present status of salmon and their environments;
  • Salmon in a changing salmosphere: to understand and quantify the effects of natural environmental variability and man-made factors affecting salmon distribution and abundance and to make projections of their future changes;
  • New Frontiers: to develop new technologies and analytical methods to advance salmon science and to explore the uncharted regions of the salmosphere;
  • Human Dimension: to improve the resilience of people and salmon through the connection and collaboration of salmon-dependent communities, indigenous peoples, youth, harvesters and resource managers across the salmosphere;
  • Information Systems: to develop an integrated archive of accessible electronic data collected during the IYS and tools to support future research.

The species and life-history stages covered by the International Year of Salmon will reflect the different mandates of the partner organisations. The lead organisations would also liaise with organisations dealing with the Arctic and Baltic to seek their involvement.

Atlantic Salmon
Sockeye Salmon

Atlantic salmon
Courtesy of Gilbert van Ryckevorsel

Sockeye salmon
Courtesy of Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Where will the International Year of the Salmon take place?

The International Year of the Salmon will be a truly hemispheric initiative. All countries involved in NASCO and NPAFC will be involved in the programme.

When will the International Year of the Salmon take place?

The International Year of the Salmon will take place during 2019. Prior to the focal year, there will be a major international symposium in 2018 to launch the initiative.

Any research which falls under the International Year of Salmon project at any time will carry the branding and organisational/communication structure as appropriate.

Any programme of research requires extensive planning, funding, data collection and analysis before the findings can be disseminated; this process will take many years. The International Year of the Salmon initiative will comprise three phases (planning, launch and research) but the focal year for activities will be 2019.

Further information:

Outline Proposal for an International Year of the Salmon

2016 Council Decisions concerning the International Year of the Salmon

Report of the First Meeting of the IYS North Atlantic Steering Committee