St. Andrews – Dr. Wilfred M. Carter of St. Andrews, NB, internationally-recognized wild Atlantic salmon conservationist, founding Executive Director of the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF), and Order of Canada recipient passed away on March 18, 2009.
Dr. Carter dedicated more than 50 years of his life to conserving wild Atlantic salmon. Although Dr. Carter officially retired from his position as President of ASF in 1989, he worked on behalf of the wild Atlantic salmon as a Board Member and President Emeritus of ASF until his death.
ASF President Bill Taylor said, “Dr. Carter, …Wilf to his friends, accomplished more for wild Atlantic salmon in his lifetime than anyone. He dedicated his life to salmon conservation and built ASF into one of the world’s most effective and respected conservation organizations. He was a trusted friend to many of us and he leaves a distinguished legacy.”
J. W. (Bud) Bird, a long-time friend, Chairman Emeritus of the Miramichi Salmon Association, and a Director of ASF, delivered the eulogy. In it, Mr. Bird described Dr. Carter as having “died with the satisfaction and contentment of a man who has accomplished his goal and left it safe for another generation.”
In 1987, “Outdoor Canada” magazine recognized Dr. Carter as one of the conservationists who had contributed the most to improve the environment over the previous 15 years.
Dr. Carter received many other acknowledgements for his efforts, including honourary Doctorates from the University of New Brunswick and Mount Allison University. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1993. Canada’s highest civilian honour, the Order of Canada recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence, courage, or exceptional dedication to service in ways that bring special credit to the country.
Dr. Carter was a founding member of the international North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO), which he helped establish in 1984. NASCO, which represents all North Atlantic countries with Atlantic salmon interests, provides a forum for the study, analysis and exchange of information and for consultation and cooperation on salmon stocks. It also makes recommendations on scientific research and addresses significant threats to ensure the conservation, restoration and enhancement of wild Atlantic salmon populations.
Dr. Carter developed his passion for wild Atlantic salmon through fishing as a boy on the rivers of Gaspé, Quebec and always considered himself very lucky to have been able to spend time on salmon rivers throughout the course of his life. He believed that all living creatures and the forests, lakes and rivers that shelter them are part of the fabric that sustains and supports all human-kind, and when part of it is lost, it is gone forever. He spent his life ensuring that the wild Atlantic salmon retained its place as one of nature’s icons.