Early involvement in the aquaculture industry, the Atlantic Salmon Federation and several environmental non- profits, led to the accumulation of historical information on the introduction of non-native strains of Atlantic salmon as well as other species of fish, into virtually every major river system along the shores of the Bay Fundy and Gulf of Maine, south to the Connecticut River.
These notes, first compiled about 10 years ago, came to light during a document sort and are being published now because of the concerns currently being expressed about the genetic alterations of Atlantic salmon and the suspected introduction of non-native strains of Atlantic salmon into east coast rivers.
I believe it is important for critics and supporters alike to understand that genetic modifications and foreign introductions have been going on for over 150 years and in many cases these were carried out by the very organizations that criticize current activities. This paper is a compilation of these notes . References sources are given where presently available. Additional references and other notes will be added as files on this topic as they are uncovered.
The information provided here does not extend beyond the late 1990’s. There have been many changes in recent years with the development of GMO techniques, the consolidation of salmonid aquaculture, the apparent development of new strains of salmonid diseases , the proliferation of sea lice, and the removal of some stream barriers.
Critics are quick to blame aquaculture for the decline of Inner Bay of Fundy stocks of Atlantic salmon. As can be seen, introduction of foreign stocks and species has been a factor. However, other factors, which are rarely mentioned, have had more serious impacts. These include clear-cutting of the coastal forests, forest sprays, agricultural runoff, the introduction of brine into the coastal waters by the potash companies in Sussex, NB., the possible introduction of foreign sea lice into local waters, mortalities caused by power plants along the migration route, etc.
The problem is much more complex than pointing fingers at a single industry and requires more in-depth considerations.
Art MacKay 9/17/2018