NCC expresses serious concerns about health of salmon stocks and calls on DFO for full closure of salmon rivers in NunatuKavut
HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, LABRADOR, July 21, 2023 – NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) President Todd Russell, along with Environment and Natural Resources Director George Russell Jr., today issued the following statement following the partial closure of salmon rivers in NunatuKavut by Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) this week due to extremely high water temperatures:
“While NCC appreciates DFO’s swift action in announcing a modified closure on salmon rivers in our territory, it is not enough to address the significant issue we are facing. NCC staff have been extensively monitoring the water temperatures in our rivers based on science and traditional Inuit knowledge and the high temperatures being reported are alarming. This is yet another very concerning and potentially disruptive impact of climate change. Salmon are critical in our ecosystem, and a crucial species to our culture, communal food fishery and communities. It is imperative that we take every possible step to preserve the Atlantic Salmon and ensure the long-term sustainability of this important resource.
NCC urgently calls upon DFO to exercise its responsibility to implement a full closure of our rivers and an immediate cease to catch-and-release salmon fishing until water temperatures return to a safe and sustainable range. This measure will help protect salmon during their sensitive migratory period and will promote responsible and ethical angling practices among local and visiting anglers. It would also confirm Canada’s commitment at the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization to the long-term viability and conservation of this species.
As Inuit, our relationship with our lands, waters, and ice is an important part of who we are as a people. It is our responsibility to ensure the sustainability of our resources for present and future generations. We are confident that by working together, NCC and DFO can find a balanced and sustainable solution that prioritizes the welfare of our salmon population and preserves them for future generations to enjoy.”
Chief Communications Officer, NCC