The Atlantic Salmon Federation has said that a fall in the population of wild salmon in North America brings about the question of the number of salmon being caught in Greenland.
The group said that the most recent International Council for the Exploration of the Sea figures reveal that there have been considerable declines in the population. Spokeswoman Sue Scott said that the number of wild salmon returning from Greenland in 2012 fell by 36 per cent to around 140,000.
In Newfoundland, Scott said that the number of large salmon returning had fallen by 20 per cent from the average over the five preceding years. Salmon returns declined the most in the southern reaches of their range, with a fall of 80 per cent in Maine’s Penobscot River among the most notable figures.
Scott explained that one of the possible reasons for the decline is that Greenland harvested its second highest amount of salmon since 2001 last year: 34 tonnes. She said that as 79 per cent of these salmon originate from North America, Greenland’s fishery killed around 7,800 North American salmon.
She went on to say that the figure does not take unreported catches into account, which the federation estimates to be 10 additional tonnes. She added that another concern is that Greenland allowed salmon to be sold to factories last year, something that gives the country an added incentive to raise its commercial fishery.