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IYS 2019






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‘Salmon and People in a Changing World’

Find out more about
the IYS Photo
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View the IYS Video narrated by Sir David Attenborough here...


Visit the International Year of the Salmon website to find out about events and projects near you.

The International Year of the Salmon (IYS) is an initiative by the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO) and the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC). The focal year of the IYS is 2019, with activities continuing into 2022.

Through outreach and research activities the IYS aims to create awareness and foster understanding of the issues facing wild salmon and their impact on the communities that benefit from the resource. Collective efforts around the Northern Hemisphere will ensure a new generation of policy makers, managers and scientists are better equipped to manage and conserve wild salmon rationally by building resilience for salmon and people.

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 IYS 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 wild salmon populations.

The pace of scientific efforts to understand the factors affecting wild salmon is not fast enough to support their management. The IYS intends to 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.

What is the International Year of the Salmon focusing on?

Outreach, Engagement, and Education are key components of the IYS. This includes improving public and political awareness of:

  • salmon’s cultural, social, and economic importance;
  • the challenges salmon face from major environmental changes and human impacts.

The IYS will also engage the scientific community. The following broad research themes have been identified:

  • 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.

Where is the International Year of the Salmon taking place?

The IYS is a truly hemispheric initiative. All countries involved in NASCO and NPAFC are involved in the programme.

To find out if there are events and projects near you visit the IYS website.

How can I get involved in the International Year of the Salmon?

You can attend an event or contribute to a project near you; find out about what is happening by visit the IYS website.

You can organise an activity in support of wild salmon conservation; the IYS website has resources that you can download.

How is the International Year of the Salmon being managed?

The planning of the IYS is being undertaken by a Co-ordinating Committee and independent Pacific and Atlantic IYS Steering Committees, which include key partners. The Co-ordinating Committee’s mandate is to co-ordinate the planning, implementation and administration of the IYS and review its progress at the salmosphere level. The Steering Committees’ mandate is to co-ordinate the planning, implementation and administration of the IYS and review its progress in the North Pacific and Atlantic Oceans respectively. Outreach and research will be planned at three spatial scales—the hemispheric or ’salmosphere’ scale, the basin scale (Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic or Baltic), and at the local level.

Atlantic Salmon
Sockeye Salmon

Atlantic salmon
Courtesy of Gilbert van Ryckevorsel

Sockeye salmon
Courtesy of Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Reports on Planned Actions to Implement the IYS Initiative:

Co-ordinating Committee Reports:

North Atlantic Steering Committee Reports:

Other Documents: