Combatting Atlantic salmon poaching
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Conservation and Protection Branch promotes and maintains compliance with legislation, regulations, policies and management measures implemented to achieve the:
- conservation and sustainable use of Canada’s aquatic resources
- the protection of species at risk, fish habitat and oceans
Fishery officers are on the water, on the wharves, in communities and at facilities ensuring the conservation and protection of species, and the long-term sustainability of Indigenous, commercial and recreational fisheries across Canada.
Each year, the branch dedicates thousands of hours to surveillance and collaborating with Indigenous organizations, industry groups and individual harvesters to:
- ensure compliance with the Fisheries Act
- maintain peaceful and orderly fisheries that are accessible to all licence holders
In most areas of Atlantic Canada and Quebec, salmon angling seasons are closed due to conservation concerns, with the exception of some rivers in Nova Scotia and Newfoundand, where catch-and-release using single hook barbless artificial ties is allowed.
Fishery officers are working hard to combat the illegal poaching of Atlantic salmon through:
- outreach to promote voluntary compliance
- following up on tips from the public when evidence of poaching is found
- issuing warnings and laying charges when harvesters are found in the illegal possession of Atlantic salmon
Fishery officers, Aboriginal fishery guardians and contracted fishery guardians (in Newfoundland) regularly:
- monitor area closures
- conduct inspections of anglers’ licences, fishing gear and possession limits
- enforce tagging provisions
The National Fisheries Intelligence Service helps guide investigations so fishery officers can focus on areas of greatest risk.
Report Atlantic salmon poaching
To report poaching on the East Coast, contact us.
Poaching by the numbers
- Poaching convictions by region
- Catch and release limits, and advice to minimize injury to fish
- Enforcement activities from the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (PDF)
- 2018-2019 Angler’s Guide for Newfoundland and Labrador
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