Groups urge Maine to protect last wild Atlantic salmon in U.S. – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-07-24 16:41:00 –

Portland, Maine >> Maine is the last wild Atlantic salmon habitat in the United States, but new pushes to protect fish at the state level could put it on the list of endangered species. Is almost nonexistent.

Atlantic salmon used to flood US rivers, but are now returning from the ocean to just a handful of rivers in eastern and central Maine. Fish are protected at the federal level under the US Endangered Species Act, but a coalition of environmental groups and scientists could add more fish to the list of main endangered and endangered species. He said he could provide protection.

State law allows Maine’s Director of Marine Resources, Patrick Keliher, to make the recommendation, but his office told The Associated Press that it would not. The department is doing extensive work on the protection and recovery of fish, and the commissioner said, “I don’t think the list at the state level will bring additional protection benefits or protection,” said department spokesman Jeff Nichols. Said.

Environmentalists who want to see the fish on the state list said they would continue to promote fish and other conservation. Adding fish to the state’s endangered species list means that salmon protection is treated as a greater concern in the state’s licensing process, said John Barrows, executive director of the Atlantic Salmon Federation’s US operations. rice field.

“Maine and our handful of rivers are the only places in the country where wild Atlantic salmon still live,” Burroughs said. “It was and should have happened.”

Atlantic salmon have disappeared from US rivers due to damming, pollution and other environmental issues, and face the looming threat of climate change. Nevertheless, in recent years there have been some positive signs of rivers in Maine.

In 2020, more than 1,400 salmon returned to the Penobscot River. This is the highest number since 2011 and was discovered by the Fisheries Resources Department of Maine. Penobscot is the most productive river for salmon. From 2012 to 2019, the average number of fish was about 700 per year.

Attempts to breed Atlantic salmon in other states are at a standstill. Decades later, the federal government ended an attempt to restore Atlantic salmon in the Connecticut River basin in 2012 due to unsuccessful efforts.

Listing fish on the Endangered Species List in Maine has long been the goal of many environmental groups. The Endangered Species Act of Maine includes 26 endangered and 25 endangered species. This list contains two fish, the endangered Red Fin Pickerel and the Endangered Swamp Darter.

This list is designed to provide state-level protection for endangered species and complements the Endangered Species Act of the United States. Several species, including plover, are listed in both.

Environmentalists upheld a bill requiring the Marine Resources Commission to recommend a state list of endangered or endangered species in the main state legislature earlier this year. The proposal died on the committee in June.

A group of 19 organizations and 10 scientists and conservation activists wrote to the state, stating that Maine is one of the few states that does not mandate or endorse a state-level list of federal listed species. Wildlife advocates will continue to promote salmon conservation, said Dwayne Shaw, director of the Downeast Salmon Federation.

“It’s very symbolic, but it also has a direct impact and a positive impact on the species,” says Shaw.

Groups urge Maine to protect last wild Atlantic salmon in U.S. Source link Groups urge Maine to protect last wild Atlantic salmon in U.S.

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