VANCOUVER, Sept. 6, 2019 /CNW/ - Wild Pacific salmon are an iconic species and an important natural resource that provides a range of social, cultural, economic, and environmental benefits to the West Coast. They are vital to our environment, providing nutrients to other plant and animal species, including the Southern Resident Killer Whales. They are also integral to West Coast First Nations traditional culture and heritage. The Government of Canada remains committed to protecting wild Pacific salmon for generations to come.
Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced $15 million in additional annual funding to support wild Pacific salmon research and management, including:
- Stock assessment activities to get more detailed information on the abundance, distribution, productivity, and health of salmon stocks. This work will help increase our knowledge of the current status of wild Pacific Salmon and how they are being affected by our changing climate and other factors;
- Enhanced coded-wire tagging (CWT) and recovery programs to provide better estimates of harvest impacts and help determine salmon survival, fishery interception and exploitation, and distribution parameters of indicator stocks; and,
- Improved recreational catch monitoring and reporting, including catch sampling and analytical support, to provide better estimates of salmon harvest.
These investments support the Government of Canada's commitment to develop a broader strategy to protect wild Pacific salmon using the best available scientific information, and to consider climate change in decision-making. This funding helps Canada meet its obligations under the renewed Pacific Salmon Treaty with the United States and will help ensure the Department is working closely with First Nations and other stakeholders to better understand and manage Pacific salmon populations.
"We know that our wild salmon populations are facing urgent threats – from warming waters caused by climate change to the loss of important habitat that they migrate through. That's why our government is working with partners to protect these at-risk salmon populations. Through these partnerships, I am confident that can make substantive progress together that will enhance our wild fish stocks and strengthen our fishing industry for today, and for generations to come."
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
- The Pacific Salmon Treaty is a bilateral Canada-U.S. Treaty first signed in 1985. The Treaty provides a framework for the two countries to work together on the conservation and management of Pacific salmon.
- Salmon are a part of intricate food webs in both their freshwater and ocean environments, affecting everything from tiny zooplankton to large mammals like whales, bears, and birds of prey.
- The five species of Pacific salmon are Chinook, Chum, Coho, Pink, and Sockeye.
- Chinook salmon is a particularly important species on the West Coast; in addition to being a prey of choice for Southern Resident Killer Whales, it is culturally significant for many Indigenous communities in British Columbia and the Yukon and is an important part of recreational and sport fishing.
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SOURCE Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region
For further information: Jocelyn Lubczuk, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, 343-548-7863, [email protected]; Media Relations, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 613-990-7537, [email protected]