Conserving NL's Special Places

Newfoundland and Labrador is home to many important and sensitive wildlife habitats. The iconic puffin, the fish that swim our rivers, and the shorebirds that visit our coastlines each fall are just some of the things that make our biodiversity special. As a central part of SAM's mission we work to identify, prioritize and conserve the land areas of the province that support important biodiversity and are important to us culturally. We seek, in partnership with our municipal members, to find a balance between preservation of biodiversity values and economic and social development opportunities. We also recognize that there are many ways that these lands can be effectively conserved and so we actively seek to share our findings with other people and groups who share our vision.

Purple sandpipers are a unique and hardy bird that breed in the tundra and winter along our coastlines.

Our tidal wetlands are important for biodiversity, mitigating climate change, and supporting bird populations. 

Atlantic Salmon Rivers in Newfoundland and Labrador

Wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is an important species for the people of Atlantic Canada for a variety of reasons including social, cultural, recreational, economic, food security reasons, as well as being an indicator of environmental quality. Conserving this resource for current and future use is therefore a priority – and it cannot be achieved without the cooperation and stewardship of local communities.

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Unfortunately, wild Atlantic salmon populations are declining throughout their range, from an estimated abundance of 0.8-1.7 million fish (aged at one sea winter) to an estimated 04.-07 million fish from 1995 onwards. Declining stocks have prompted various government responses, including (though not limited to) the closure of commercial fisheries in Eastern Canada, reduction of daily and seasonal bag limits, and the introduction of mandatory catch and release programs of large salmon in the recreational fisheries of insular Newfoundland.  Protecting good salmon habitat is essential to ensure the continued survival of the species, so that the resource can be enjoyed for generations to come.

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Atlantic Salmon  (Salmo salar)

Salmon River in Main Brook, NL

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SAM 2021 Fall Meeting Attendees overlooking the Humber River in Deer Lake, NL as

SAM Staff provide Salmon Education during an interpretive walk

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Salmon Fisherman, Main Brook, NL

Fishing and angling has long been a source of food security, industry, and recreation in Newfoundland and Labrador. SAM does not seek to restrict the use and enjoyment of this resource – rather, the intention is to help promote legal sustainable use, and seek to conserve (and restore where needed) critical habitats, often riparian buffers surrounding salmon rivers. Supported by funding from the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Fund, we have begun efforts to identify important rivers and spawning areas, particularly those found within municipal planning boundaries. We are now seeking to work with municipalities to conserve some of this habitat for current and future generations.