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Thread: Atlantic salmon at Greenland
11-08-2010, 02:52 PM #1
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Atlantic salmon at Greenland
By Jens Moller Jensen
Fisheries Research, Volume 10, Issues 1-2 Fisheries Research and the Atlantic Salmon - Assessment and Regulation in a Time of Change, December 1990, Pages 29-52, ISSN 0165-7836, DOI: 10.1016/0165-7836(90)90014-M.
Salmo salar L. was recorded in Greenland in 1780 by Fabricius. A small fishery seemed to start at the beginning of this century, but the present fishery began in 1960-1962. The salmon fishery at West Greenland has been regulated since 1972.
The age composition of the landings is 93-99% one-sea winter (1SW) salmon, 2-6% multi-sea winter (MSW) fish and previous spawners account for the rest. All fish which return from Greenland to home waters would be MSW salmon and, therefore, the fishery at West Greenland has only a direct effect on the MSW home water stocks.
Salmon from nearly all salmon-producing countries around the North Atlantic migrate to Greenland waters. The proportion of European (EU) and North American (NA) salmon in the landings varies from 40 to 60%.
It is only possible to estimate the number of salmon of U.S. origin caught at West Greenland.
The recruitment to the fishery depends not only on the sizes of smolt year classes and post-smolt mortalities, but also on the environmental conditions. If the surface temperature in the Labrador Sea during the first 3 months of the year is low and the cold water covers a greater area relative to other years, then at least some of the salmon do not migrate to the fishing area the following season.
The salmon grow very rapidly in Greenland waters and price also increases rapidly with the size of the fish. Therefore, a later opening of the fishery will, with the same number of salmon caught, give a higher total allowable catch (TAC) in tonnes and a higher price per kilogram. To assess that 'increase' of the TAC, a combined assessment was carried out taking into account the size difference between salmon from the two continents and their proportions in the landings, their growth rates, the fishing pattern at West Greenland and the mesh sizes in the fishery.
The effect of the West Greenland fishery on home water stocks has been estimated. The short-term losses per tonne of EU salmon caught at West Greenland are 1.6-2.1 t in Europe the following year; the corresponding figures for NA salmon are from 1.4 to 1.9 t.
Salmon also appear along the coast of East Greenland and in the Irminger Sea. The only fishery in this large area takes place from Angmassalik and it is very small, up to 20 tonnes per year. It is very often eliminated because of the ice conditions. Salmon in the Irminger Sea originate from the same countries as those in West Greenland. However, the proportion of NA salmon in the catches is smaller than that found at West Greenland.
The Labrador Sea, the Irminger Sea and the waters off West Greenland are all feeding areas for salmon from both North America and Europe.