Areas of Special Concern
In addition to the five Atlantic salmon population assemblages being considered for Threatened or Endangered status under the Species at Risk Act, four are being considered for listing as Species of Special Concern. They are:
Gaspé-Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence
Inner St. Lawrence
Quebec Western North Shore
Quebec Eastern North Shore
The Species at Risk Act prohibitions that would close fisheries where populations are Threatened or Endangered do not apply to Species of Special Concern. Instead, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) would be required to create a management plan and identify specific conservation targets.
DFO already has the tools and mandate to create population specific plans and set targets but has not done so, despite a recommendation in 2017 from MPs to, "develop and execute a recovery plan to rebuild wild Atlantic salmon stocks to, at minimum, 1975 levels... with precise and measurable objectives."
Listing these four populations as Species of Special Concern would accomplish little to nothing for conservation and could complicate extensive work being carried out by NGOs, Indigenous communities, and provincial governments.