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No Ordinary Fish. No Ordinary Year.

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What is the International Year of the Salmon?

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The International Year of the Salmon (IYS) is a five-year initiative that aspires to establish the conditions necessary to ensure the resilience of salmon and people throughout the Northern Hemisphere. While salmon have a high degree of resilience built into their genetic make-up, increasingly extreme and uncertain climate conditions, coupled with continuous human activity, threaten their survival. Epic salmon migrations through rivers and oceans take salmon across borders and cultures, sustaining this species therefore requires a uniquely large-scale solution.

To support the resilience of both salmon and the people who depend on them, we need to collectively generate and share new knowledge, make timely decisions, and engage communities in this effort. The IYS has a number of research themes and outcomes that describe the conditions to establish resilience for salmon and people, and have initiated a series of Signature Projects that will make significant progress towards these outcomes. Success is ultimately a hemisphere of connected people and organizations taking effective action to understand and sustain salmon.

We are governed by the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC) in the North Pacific, and the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO) in the North Atlantic, and our staff are located at the offices of the Commissions in Vancouver, Canada and Edinburgh, Scotland, respectively. We have engaged steering committees with our parties and partners in our respective basins, in the NP we have 40 partners collectively working with the IYS (link to governance). Funding for IYS activities has come from the parties as well as contributions both in kind and cash from our partners.

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The International Year of the Salmon has multiple research themes that describe the conditions to establish resilience between salmon and people.

International Year of the Salmon Objectives

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1) Develop a better understanding of the factors driving salmon abundance and the challenges facing them;

2) Encourage scientists, decision-makers and the public to work towards solutions that overcome the challenges salmon face;

3) Support conservation and restoration strategies to help manage salmon in the face of climate change;

4) Enable collaboration among organizations and researchers in countries throughout the Northern Hemisphere;

5) Inspire and support a new generation of researchers and managers, and conservationists;

6) Help create a greater awareness of the ecological, social, cultural and economic value of salmon;

7) Support research and conservation of salmon species and their environments throughout the Northern Hemisphere.

Meet the IYS Team:

Mark Saunders, Director

Mark Saunders

Mark Saunders currently works for the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission as the Director for the north Pacific Region of the International Year of the Salmon initiative.  He retired several years ago from the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans where he headed up a Salmon, Aquaculture and Freshwater Ecology Division at the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, B.C.  with staff working on salmon stock assessment, freshwater habitat, molecular genetics, fish health, and marine ecology.  The early part of Mark’s career focused on stock assessment of marine fish as well as research related to hydroacoustic surveys and fisheries oceanography of the California current system.  Mark and his wife live in the small town of Chemainus on Vancouver Island.  He has two grown daughters in their 20’s.  In his spare time, Mark enjoys sailing, kayaking, skiing, and sport fishing.


Caroline Graham, High Seas Coordinator

Caroline Graham

Caroline Graham is the International Year of the Salmon (IYS) High Seas Expedition Coordinator for the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC)She first joined the NPAFC as an intern in 2017. After completing her internship in 2018, she went on to pursue an MSc in Oceans and Fisheries from the University of British Columbia, where she completed a thesis on salmon trophic ecology in the high seas. Caroline also holds a BA in Biology from Grinnell CollegeShe joined the NPAFC Secretariat as the IYS North Pacific Coordinator in July 2020In her free time, Caroline enjoys taking dance classes and spending time outdoors running, hiking and biking. 

Camille Jasinski, Public Relations & Comunications Coordinator

Camille Jasinski

Camille Jasinski is the Public Relations and Communications Coordinator for the International Year of the Salmon (IYS)—North Pacific Region. She is currently completing her master’s degree in communications at SFU (Simon Fraser University), after which she hopes to pursue her PhD. Camille’s graduate research interests include classical communication theory, ideology, philosophy, surveillance culture, environmental communication, decolonization theory, and Indigenous rights. Camille currently sits as the Co-chair to the IYS Theme Council Group 4—Outreach and Communication. She is also a registered 200-hour yoga and fuse teacher.


Aidan Schubert, IYS Coordinator

Aidan Schubert

Aidan is the International Year of the Salmon (IYS) Coordinator for the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission. While completing a Bachelor of Science at the University of Western Australia (UWA), Aidan spent 7 months in Canada while on exchange at the University of Ottawa. After completing his BSc in 2017, Aidan went on to spend two years living in Canada while undertaking various work and voluntary roles, predominantly on the west coast. In 2019, he returned to Western Australia to complete his Master of Biological Science, specializing in marine biology at UWA. His dissertation focused on improving historical freshwater fisheries catch data in Kenya to support fisheries management and food security, as part of the Sea Around Us global catch reconstruction efforts. After completing his Masters, he returned to Canada where he began his role as the IYS coordinator in March 2021. Aidan enjoys most things adventurous, including hiking, camping and rock climbing, as well as playing guitar.
Minje Choi, NPAFC Intern

Minje Choi

Minje was born and raised in Busan, South Korea. Since the ocean surrounds Busan, he naturally fell in love with it. He found his passion for sustainable fisheries resources while working as an intern at the Ministry of Fisheries in Fiji. After graduating from Pukyong National University with two bachelors’ degrees in Marine Business Economics and International Development, he continued his studies at graduate school to learn fisheries resource management. Minje has published research papers and most relate to the application of Bayesian statistics to fisheries resource assessment and management. In recognition of his efforts, he received an award from the PICES for his research of applying the Bayesian state-space model to the bioeconomic analysis. Minje graduated with a master’s degree in Business Administration and the main subject of his thesis was the Bioeconomic analysis of small yellow croaker (Larimichthys polyactis) for fisheries management.

Andrew Chin, NPAFC Intern

Andrew Chin

Andrew Chin is a 2020-21 NPAFC intern and was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. Andrew earned two bachelor’s degrees at the University of Washington in spring 2020, majoring in Aquatic and Fisheries Science and Marine Biology. He focused specifically on the life histories of Dolly Varden char (Salvelinus malma) from Alaska and plankton in the equatorial Pacific and U.S. west coast. For his academic achievements, Andrew received the 2020 Undergraduate Dean’s Medal from the UW College of the Environment. Most recently, Andrew worked as a fish passage technician assessing culverts for salmonid passability and potential spawning habitat gain upstream. In the free time Andrew has enjoys hiking, cycling, running, and cooking.

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