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One millionth Atlantic salmon begins journey to Lake Ontario

Wednesday, May 28th 2008 10:53:00am

Attention: News, Assignment, Outdoor, Conservation Editors and Reporters

Ontario Minister of Natural Resources joins representatives from Banrock Station Wines to mark historic moment

(Toronto, Ontario, May 28, 2008) Ontario's Minister of Natural Resources joined representatives from Banrock Station Wines, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) to celebrate the release the one millionth Atlantic Salmon into the Credit River. Banrock Station Wines is the lead sponsor of the Bring Back the Salmon - Lake Ontario restoration program.

Bring Back the Salmon - Lake Ontario is one of the largest freshwater conservation and species restoration projects in North America. The program is expected to take 10 to 15 years to complete and will include fish production and stocking, habitat restoration, water quality enhancement, research and monitoring and education and outreach.

"Today marks a historic milestone for species rehabilitation in Ontario," said Ted Robinson, Vice President, Sales and Marketing representing Banrock Station Wine. "Nowhere in the country has there been a program as large and a group as committed to re-establishing a species back into its native environment. I am thrilled that we've had the opportunity to contribute to such a worthwhile project and hope generations of Ontarians enjoy the fruits of our labour."

Banrock Station Wines is recognized internationally for its pioneering concept of funding environmental projects by donating partial proceeds of every worldwide purchase of its wines. In 2000, they established the Banrock Station Wetlands Foundation Canada (BSWFC) to support wetlands conservation and restoration projects across Canada. Since its inception, over $750,000 has been distributed to projects across the country.

Banrock Station Wines are available from the LCBO and a portion of the sales of each bottle supports the Banrock Station Wetlands Foundation Canada.

The first stages of Bring Back the Salmon- Lake Ontario began in 2006 and are expected to last until 2010. During this period, work will centre on stocking a combination of fry (young salmon), fall fingerlings and yearlings in three tributaries and developing and maintaining broodstock (adult Atlantic salmon used to produce eggs which are grown to the fry stage in the hatchery) from at least three different strains of Atlantic salmon.

Restoration is being preformed on three tributaries; Cobourg Brook, Dufferin Creek and the Credit River. Within each waterway, work has been preformed to provide the vulnerable fingerlings a safe and healthy area to mature.
  
Additional objectives within the first five years will also include enhancing and supporting local stewardship groups on each tributary and developing a comprehensive communication plan with the 900,000 anglers and 5.3 million residents in the Greater Toronto Area on the benefits of restoring this magnificent fish to Lake Ontario.


BACKGROUNDER

Banrock Station - Our Home in South Australia

The Banrock Station story begins at our internationally-acclaimed, 4,500-acre property on the banks of the Murray River in South Australia.  Purchased in 1994, the former sheep grazing land has been transformed with restoration of the wetland, woodlands, and wildlife.  Visitors are welcome at the Wine & Wetland Centre, a showcase of sustainable architecture, while extensive walking trails encourage exploration of this, our original partnership with nature.  In 2002, Banrock Station received the prestigious RAMSAR designation as a "Wetland of International Importance", and the property has since become a model blend of wine and eco tourism.  Over 100,000 people, including many school groups, visit Banrock Station annually to discover for themselves the magic of this special place on the banks of The Murray.

Banrock Station - Our Commitment to Global Conservation

Since 1995, Banrock Station Wines has been dedicated to the welfare of our environment.  After all, as an agricultural business we are entirely reliant on the health of nature to create quality wines.  We're proud to be a world leader in conservation, with a commitment of more than AUD $5 million to date worldwide.  The ever-growing popularity of our wine means we can contribute more every year.  >From global-warming research with Polar Bears in Norway, to eco-tourism assessments in Kenya, to restoration of the Banrock Marshes in Holland's De Weeribben National Park, to the Banrock Station Good Garden at the Eden Project in England, to the endangered Pateke Duck's translocation in New Zealand, Banrock Station Wines has shown true environmental leadership.  We relish our reputation as a corporate leader in global conservation, and are committed to expanding our activities as our business grows.

Banrock Station - "Bring Back the Salmon" - Lake Ontario

In April 2006, we announced our largest-ever conservation commitment outside our home in Australia.  In partnership with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH), the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), and many other conservation-minded organizations, Banrock Station Wines seeks to restore native Atlantic salmon to Lake Ontario.  This iconic species disappeared from Lake Ontario and its tributaries during the last half of the 1800s.  Today, water quality and habitat in Lake Ontario and the rivers and streams flowing into it have improved to the point where it has become possible to attempt reintroduction of "the king of the Lake".  Banrock Station's long-term funding commitment of $1.25 million over five years has made this unprecedented species reintroduction programme possible.

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For more information on Banrock Station Wines, to arrange an interview or obtain photos:

Jonathan Laderoute, e|c|o, 416-972-7401, laderoutej(a)huffstrategy.com


Banrock Station Wines is recognized internationally for its pioneering concept of funding environmental projects by donating partial proceeds of every worldwide purchase of its wines. Banrock Station is a world-renowned rehabilitated wetland ( www.banrockstation.com).