An American in Paris – Paul Volcker “banks” on change to help restore wild salmon stocks

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When the going gets tough, Paul Volcker, formerly chairman of the US Federal Reserve, gets a call. Recently it was President Obama who called to appoint Volcker to head his economic recovery team and today it is the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF) calling to enlist Volcker’s help to restore stocks of wild Atlantic salmon.

Volcker is a passionate fly fisherman and friend of Orri Vigfusson who heads up the NASF group that works to deploy sustainable economic solutions to support the wild salmon populations of the North Atlantic.  Fly fishing has been a part of Paul’s life for at least as long as economics and he has fished a great many rivers around the world.  For a number of years, Volcker has supported the NASF schemes to compensate netsmen throughout the North Atlantic. The direct result is that 85% of salmon netsmen throughout the North Atlantic have signed up to conservation schemes and alternative fisheries that allow more precious wild salmon to return to their native rivers to breed.

In support of NASF, Volcker recently agreed to speak at two European dinners about his financial reform proposals.  The first dinner was hosted by leading French asset management company Amundi, to which top bankers and personalities in the European financial world attended.  The second dinner will be hosted by the Intermediate Capital Group PLC  in London in early May.

Volcker was not in Paris just to discuss the financial crisis and his proposed reforms.  First stop on his tour was the Sélune river district in Normandy, where the NASF had proposed a suite of conservation measures including the pulling down of major hydroelectric dams and happily, their removal seems secured when the French Environmental Ministry agreed. This river estuary runs past the historic Mont Saint-Michel and the NASF believes it could form a model for a great many European salmon recovery projects across the continent.  The NASF party, Paul Volcker, Orri Vigfusson, Marc-Adrien Marcellier and Bertrant Suchet then met in Paris with Madame Chantal Jouanno, Minister of Environment to congratulate the Ministry upon the courageous Sélune decision and also to discuss the broader issues of salmon restoration in Europe and biodiversity generally.

Volcker is a man widely respected in the financial community worldwide, and politicians should also listen carefully when he speaks of his other passion, of his desire to return wild salmon rivers to their state of former abundance. Volcker above all knows that it makes financial sense to embrace the NASF model and minimize bureaucratic regulatory intervention. NASF has successfully blended charitable giving, commercial common sense, and practical economic solutions for over twenty years to align the interests of all stakeholders who have a collective interest in the future abundance of the Atlantic salmon.

At the Paris dinner, Volcker pointed out that in the USA, UK and to a lesser degree other countries, the world of finance has been enormously profitable and that the earnings of financial institutions at their recent peak contributed close to 40% of the earnings of all US corporates.  In the spirit of “give and take” perhaps some of those corporations and individuals who have done well themselves from finance may follow the lead of Amundi one of the world’s top 10 asset managers and EDF the French power company, and donate generously to NASF.  NASF is a leading charitable cause that not only blends conservation with economic common sense but is endorsed through words, gifts and deeds by Mr Volcker himself.

NASF needs your commitment and financial support to continue its work of successfully returning wild salmon to historic abundance.  To find out why Mr. Volcker’s financial advice is to support NASF, or to make a much appreciated donation contact Orri Vigfússon at +354 893 3553 or <>

The North Atlantic Salmon Fund, NASF,  is an international coalition of voluntary private sector conservation groups who have come together to restore stocks of wild Atlantic salmon to their historic abundance. – – <>

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