12/18/2014 03:13 EST | Updated 02/17/2015 05:59 EST

Feds to create ministerial advisory committee to study Atlantic salmon decline

MIRAMICHI, N.B. - An advisory committee is being set up by the federal government to look at declining catches of Atlantic salmon on the East Coast.

Fisheries Minister Gail Shea says the committee will meet at least four times between February and June, and there will be opportunities for written submissions.

Shea says the committee will focus on conservation and enforcement measures, predation, a strategy to address international unsustainable fishing and advanced science.

In September, the Atlantic Salmon Federation and the Miramichi Salmon Association called on Ottawa to take action, citing declines in the number of salmon this year.