Explore: A Canadian Geographic podcast

Explore: A Canadian Geographic podcast

Fundy Salmon - Back from the Brink

November 01, 2022

We're still riding the Bay of Fundy waves this episode with the Students on Ice - Ocean Conservation Expedition. 

Today we're leaving the sea and heading up the Point Wolf River in New Brunswick's Fundy National Park, with the story of a remarkable effort to bring the Fundy Atlantic Salmon back from the brink of extinction. A unique subspecies, unlike all other Atlantic Salmon, the Fundy Salmon doesn't migrate to Greenland after leaving its spawning grounds. It stays in the Bay of Fundy, in part because the waters are so rich. As recently as the 1970s, there were 40,000 Fundy salmon living in the Inner Bay and spawning in dozens of its rivers. By 1998 that number had dropped to just 200, caused principally by habitat loss. But a concerted effort led by the University of New Brunswick, Fundy National Park, Cooke Aquaculture, the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association, Fort Folly First Nation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Parks Canada has seen those numbers begin to creep back up again, in a way that has researchers hopeful. In part, this is because of a first-of-its-kind Wild Salmon Marine Conservation Farm on Grand Manan Island, where the fish grow safely to maturity and are then released to their native rivers to spawn naturally.

Today, we visit Fundy National Park and talk to John Robinson of Parks Canada. He is one of the people working to bring Fundy Salmon numbers up to sustainable levels, through his Parks Canada job and his graduate work at the University of New Brunswick.

To learn more about the Fundy Salmon visit:  https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/nb/fundy/nature/conservation/saumon-salmon

And many thanks again to Students on Ice for making this episode possible. For more on their work, please visit www.soifoundation.org