PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The federal government is starting a five-year review of the Gulf of Maine’s population of Atlantic salmon, which are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
Atlantic salmon were once plentiful off New England, but dams, loss of habitat, pollution and overfishing dramatically reduced the population. The National Marine Fisheries Service says it is reviewing the health of the stock to get more updated information on its current status.
The fisheries service says the review will be based on scientific and commercial data. One group, the New Brunswick, Canada-based Atlantic Salmon Federation, says recent data are troubling. The group says total estimated returns of the fish to North America in 2016 showed a 27 percent decrease from the previous year.
The fisheries service is taking comments until July 20.
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