Overview of the status of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in the North Atlantic and trends in marine mortality

TitleOverview of the status of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in the North Atlantic and trends in marine mortality
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsChaput, G
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Pagination1538 - 1548
Date Published2012
ISBN Number1054-3139

Since the early 1980s, the ICES Working Group on North Atlantic Salmon has collated and interpreted catch data, exchanged information on research initiatives, and provided advice to managers in support of conservation efforts for Atlantic salmon. During the past three decades, the annual production of anadromous Atlantic salmon from more than 2000 rivers draining into the North Atlantic has been less than 10 million adult-sized salmon. This represents a minor component, by number and biomass, of the pelagic ecosystem in the North Atlantic Ocean. Ideally, Atlantic salmon would be assessed and managed based on river-specific stock units, the scale that best corresponds to the spawner to recruitment dynamic. In reality, comparatively few river-specific assessments are available for either the Northwest or the Northeast Atlantic. The marine survival of Atlantic salmon is low and, based on return rates of smolts to adults from monitored rivers, has declined since the mid- to late 1980s. Abundance has declined more severely for the multi-sea-winter components, and especially in the southern areas of the species' range. Common patterns in abundance, inferred at the level of stock complex in the North Atlantic, suggest that broad-scale factors are affecting productivity and abundance and that they are acting throughout the salmon's time at sea.

Short TitleICES J Mar Sci