Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

International: NASCO Ruling on Salmon Fishing

(June 25, 2012) In June 2012, the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO) decided to continue a moratorium on commercial fishing of the species off Greenland. Unless the number of salmon in North Atlantic waters greatly increases in the interim, the ban will last until 2014. (Salmon Conservation Group Welcomes Greenland Fishing Ruling, ICE NEWS (June 18, 2012).)

Sue Scott of the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) of Canada praised the decision, stating that it “continues a suspension that has been in effect since 2002, and during that time we have seen a moderate increase in large salmon that migrate to Greenland. The extended time will allow significant conservation programs to take hold and further restoration of our salmon to evolve.” (Press Release, ASF, Agreement on Greenland's Commercial Salmon Fishery Reached Good News for North America (June 12, 2012).)

The ASF described the agreement as limiting the catch of salmon this year in West Greenland to the amount consumed domestically, expected to be about 20 tons a year; no export of salmon will be permitted from the area. (Id.) The ASF describes itself as “an international, non-profit organization that promotes the conservation and wise management of the wild Atlantic salmon and its environment.” (Why Atlantic Salmon Are Special, ASF website (last visited June 21, 2012).)

NASCO was established by treaty in 1984. (The Convention for the Conservation of Salmon in the North Atlantic Ocean, NASCO website (last visited June 21, 2012).) It currently has six member states: Canada, Denmark (for the Faroe Islands & Greenland), the European Union, Norway, the Russian Federation, and the United States. Iceland has been a member in the past, but withdrew for financial reasons as of December 31, 2009; it has announced its intention to rejoin when feasible. (About NASCO, NASCO website (last visited June 21, 2012).) There are also 35 accredited non-governmental organizations attached to NASCO, including the ASF. (NASCO's NGOs, NASCO website (last visited June 21, 2012).)