Science has confirmed what fishermen in Clyde River, Nunavut, have been saying for decades: Atlantic salmon do make their way to the Baffin Island hamlet on the shores of the Arctic Ocean.
A Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) lab in Winnipeg says an Atlantic salmon was harvested in the hamlet four years ago.
The fish was caught back in 2012. Its head was frozen and sent to an Iqaluit fisheries office. The head was then shipped to Winnipeg for DNA testing.
Communication and timing issues meant that the testing wasn’t completed until March of this year, when a genetics lab confirmed from a tissue sample that the fish was indeed an Atlantic salmon.
“As soon as I got the fish in the cooler, I thought: ‘oh, that’s an interesting one,'” said Karen Dunmall, a PhD student at the University of Manitoba studying salmon in the North as an indicator of a changing Arctic environment.