Autumn Dinner Returns to Saint John to Support Atlantic Salmon Conservation on the Miramichi

Miramichi Salmon Association Saint John Autumn Dinner

Autumn Dinner Returns to Saint John to Support Atlantic Salmon Conservation on the Miramichi


The Miramichi Salmon Association was pleased to work with the Saint John Dinner Committee to bring this iconic autumn event back to Saint John. This event served as the official kick-off for the Miramichi Salmon Association’s 70th year celebration, to be held throughout 2023.

On November 4, members and supporters gathered to discuss Atlantic Salmon on the Miramichi, raise money for conservation initiatives, and honor a steadfast supporter, Cooke Aquaculture.

The event featured a silent auction, beverages from Sussex Distillery, an update about conservation projects, a record-breaking live auction, and an award presentation to Cooke Aquaculture. New records were set for fishing trips on the Miramichi, thanks to generous bidders and donors.

The Dinner Committee chose to honor Cooke Aquaculture for their significant and supportive contributions over many years, most notably with the MSA’s historic hatchery. In addition to celebrating 70 years of the Miramichi Salmon Association, the hatchery will be continuously operating for 150 years in 2023- a milestone solidified in large part from Cooke’s generosity and leadership.

Michael Szemerda, Global Chief Sustainability Officer at Cooke Aquaculture, accepted the award on behalf of Glenn Cooke.

“The technology, equipment, knowledge and innovations we use to raise fish today have changed dramatically from what would have been in the Miramichi Salmon Conservation Centre when it was first constructed almost 150 years ago. What remains the same is the urgent need to address the decline of wild salmon stocks in New Brunswick,” said Szemerda. “As a New Brunswick-based family company, our work right here at home holds special meaning. Wild Atlantic salmon recovery is at the heart of our sustainability and conservation efforts.”

Cooke Aquaculture has sponsored the Saint John Autumn Dinners annually, in addition to donating state-of-the-art technology and equipment for the hatchery in South Esk, and leveraging the experience and expertise of their team to help address issues or enhance operations at the hatchery.

“We’re proud to work alongside an organization like the MSA in its work preserving and advancing the environmental integrity for all species in the Miramichi Watershed,” shared Szemerda.

In addition to honoring Cooke Aquaculture, the MSA was pleased to welcome directors, members and supporters from across Atlantic Canada and the US.

“It was wonderful to gather in person in Saint John, update our members and supporters about projects on the Miramichi River, hear from our passionate anglers, and raise important funds for the MSA as we enter our 70th year,” said MSA President, Robyn McCallum.

Thanks to this strong in-person fundraising event, critical conservation activities will continue on the Miramichi, using MSA’s ‘boots on the ground’ approach to sustaining Atlantic Salmon.