Le Lézard
Classified in: Environment
Subjects: SVY, ENI, ENP, CPG, CFG

Government of Canada and Province of British Columbia announce investments in wild salmon conservation and habitat restoration projects in Vancouver


VANCOUVER, Aug. 22, 2019 /CNW/ - Healthy wild fish stocks are vital to the economic prosperity and social fabric of British Columbia's coastal communities, and are fundamental to the culture of many Indigenous communities.

The focus on restoration is part of a broader approach to addressing declines in salmon stocks that include, restoring lost protections for fish and fish habitat in the modernized Fisheries Act, science based fisheries management measures, reviewing concerns regarding predation, and implementing a plan to fight climate change.

Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson announced five new Vancouver-based projects under the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund (BCSRIF), amounting to an investment of almost $2.7M. These projects are led by:

Projects funded under BCSRIF will advance work to restore and enhance salmon habitat to support British Columbia's fish and seafood sector, and help secure the sustainability of wild Pacific salmon, as well as other wild fish stocks. Over the next five years, investments through the BCSRIF will help ensure British Columbia's wild fisheries are environmentally and economically sustainable for the long-term, and that middle-class jobs in the fishery are resilient to the challenges of climate change, as well as evolving economic conditions.

BCSRIF funding is open to Indigenous communities, industry associations, environmental non-governmental organizations and academic institutions. Each application is reviewed and approved by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Province of British Columbia. Investments through this program will benefit commercial and recreational fishing and aquaculture, as well as science and research initiatives.

Minister Wilkinson also took the opportunity to announce DFO's first ever scientific report called the State of Pacific Salmon. This report, which was the product of DFO scientists, examines the impacts climate change is having on wild Pacific salmon. The report finds that the Northeast Pacific Ocean warming trends and marine heatwaves like "The Blob" are affecting ocean food webs. British Columbia and Yukon air and water temperatures are warming and precipitation patterns are changing which is altering freshwater habitats that the salmon migrate through. These marine and freshwater ecosystem changes are impacting Pacific salmon at every stage of their life-cycle. The report is now online and available to Canadians.

Quotes

"Our government understands the need to protect and restore salmon habitats as a key part of our plan to sustain and restore wild salmon populations. Through the investments being made under the British Columbia Salmon Restauration and Innovation Fund, we are taking decisive action in improving conditions and habitat in waterways across the province. Working in partnership with the Province of British Columbia, I am confident that we can and are making substantive progress in protecting and enhancing our wild fish stocks and in strengthening our fishing industry for today, and for the generations ahead."
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

"There is still a lot of mystery around the lives of wild salmon in the open ocean, which is why research and gaining knowledge are key elements in our efforts to help their populations grow. By understanding more about their travel patterns in the ocean, and learning what we can do to support them in the estuaries they return to, we're taking steps to promote long-term and sustainable salmon runs in B.C., and the cultural, ecological and economic benefits that they bring to our communities."

The Honourable Lana Popham, BC Minister of Agriculture 

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SOURCE Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region


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