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North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization
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Scientific Advice & Research

Pelagic Trawl Spacer Smolt Wheel SpacerCounting Fence  
Post-Smolt Sampling
Courtesy of Marine Institute, Ireland
  Smolt wheel Counting fence  

NASCO seeks to base its management measures on the best available scientific information, recognising that under the Precautionary Approach the absence of sound scientific information should not be used as a reason for failing to take appropriate action. NASCO requires scientific advice that is free from political influence, that is clearly presented to managers, and that provides an assessment of risks associated with the different catch options.

Advice on the status of stocks, on the effectiveness of management measures, on monitoring needs and research requirements, and on catch options (or alternative management advice) is provided annually by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). In recent years there has been a marked reduction in the abundance of salmon, prior to any fisheries, particularly for multi-sea-winter fish in the southern regions of the species’ range. This decline in abundance is linked to increasing mortality at sea.For some monitored stocks, marine mortality is currently twice as high as in the 1970s and this has been linked to climate change. Reductions in the fisheries have meant that the decline in the number of spawners has been less marked.

Abundance of Southern European Salmon
(Source: ICES)
Abundance of North American Salmon
(Source: ICES)

In 2001, NASCO established an International Atlantic Salmon Research Board (IASRB) to promote collaboration and cooperation on research into the causes of marine mortality of Atlantic salmon and the opportunities to counteract this mortality. Read more...

NASCO has agreed a Resolution on scientific research fishing. Read more...

The scientific advice from ICES can be accessed from the table below:

NASCO has agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ICES concerning the provision of scientific advice and other aspects of the relationship between the two organizations. Read more...