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Species at Risk Act, salmon, environment, North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization, extinction, Bay of Fundy


This article reviews through a three-part format the role and efficacy of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) in trying to save SARA-listed inner Bay of Fundy (iBoF) Atlantic salmon and other Atlantic salmon populations at risk from the brink of extinction. The cascade of SARA promises is first discussed, including: the independent assessment of the status of the species based on best available scientific information; the protection of listed species, their residences and critical habitat; and the two-stage recovery planning process. The trickles of protection actually delivered by SARA in relation to Atlantic salmon are next described, including the recent adoption of a Recovery Strategy and identification of critical freshwater habitat. The sea of challenges in implementing SARA and in strengthening the protective net outside SARA is finally highlighted. Particular challenges include: overcoming the slow implementation of the Act; addressing scientific limitations of the Recovery Strategy; forging a clear agenda for recovery actions; confronting limitations in incidental harm permitting; protecting critical habitat; getting a grip on protection and recovery of other Atlantic salmon populations at risk; bolstering environmental assessment; enhancing provincial engagement in recovery efforts; ensuring full implementation of Canada’s Oceans Act; and charting future directions for the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization.

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