Strained relationship between nature and people

Hundreds of years of human activity have created issues in freshwater and saltwater ecosystems that greatly impacted inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic salmon. By 1989, the salmon population had shrunk by 90%, with many other fish species also being impacted.

Atlantic salmon were very important in the life of Aboriginal peoples in Eastern Canada. The rich meat and large numbers of salmon made them a valued food source for local Aboriginal communities, and a significant part of their traditions. Following the building of European communities, salmon continued to be an important food resource, but were also enjoyed for their angling and economic value for settlers and First Nations people.

The arrival of Europeans brought many changes to the Fundy region. Overfishing lowered the number of salmon and other species of fish. Rivers such as the Point Wolfe were dammed for logging, and small streams were blocked by roads. Farming, forestry and urban practices led to stream bank erosion, sedimentation, and pollution. These activities damaged connections between rivers and the Bay of Fundy, leaving less habitat for native species of fish, including salmon.

Many of the problems caused by humans in fresh water have been improved. Ending salmon harvests, removing dams and poor culverts, and changing land use practises have helped to improve the quality and the amount of freshwater habitat which Atlantic salmon can reach.

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