Vancouver, B.C. – Protecting and restoring our wild fish habitat and stocks is a priority for both the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia (B.C.). We know that healthy wild stocks are vital to healthy ecosystems, the economy, the social fabric of B.C.’s coastal communities, and Indigenous cultures and livelihoods.
Both governments are working hard on multiple projects to address and reverse the decline of salmon stocks. This work includes restoring lost protections for fish and fish habitat in the modernized Fisheries Act, advancing science-based fisheries management measures, reviewing concerns regarding predation, and implementing a science based plan to fight climate change.
Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, the Premier of British Columbia, the Honourable John Horgan, and the B.C. Parliamentary Secretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Fin Donnelly, announced funding for four projects under the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund (BCSRIF). Over the next four years, more than $4M in funding will be delivered to support projects that will help restore salmon habitats across B.C. The latest projects that will receive funding through BCSRIF are:
- The Osoyoos Indian Band will support post-mudslide restoration and effectiveness monitoring for Inkaneep Creek and its floodplain. Restoration work will improve the survivability of Okanagan Steelhead, Rainbow trout, and Chinook salmon and apply an innovative combination of traditional knowledge and science towards sustainable fisheries co-management.
- The Adams Lake Indian Band will support restoration of the Upper Adams early summer run sockeye to a sustainable level, and improve opportunities for sustainable use.
- The Seymour Salmonid Society will undertake a multi-year, Seymour watershed-wide initiative. This will combine rockslide mitigation work to enable upstream fish passage, along with physical habitat enhancement and restoration work to improve the habitat quality and functionality within the watershed.
- The Juan de Fuca Salmon Restoration Society will support upgrades to the Sooke River Jack Brooks hatchery facility and interpretive center. Facility upgrades will meet green building codes, include upgraded effluent treatments and the potential for stock assessment capability.
A total of 42 projects have now received BCSRIF funding, representing an investment of approximately $71M for the future of wild Pacific salmon, and the B.C. fish and seafood sector. These investments will play a key role in making B.C.’s wild fisheries more sustainable for the long-term. These investments will also benefit B.C.’s fish and seafood sector by ensuring it can continue to offer stable employment to thousands of Canadians. By supporting projects that build environmental and economic resilience, BCSRIF is also contributing to our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Priorities for the Fund in 2020 have been:
- research to refine the scientific understanding of Fraser steelhead, Chinook salmon, and Coho salmon through scientific partnerships and the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge;
- habitat restoration projects that target red status conservation units or Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada-listed populations;
- innovative processes and technologies to increase the quality and value of B.C. fish and seafood products and optimize fishing operations;
- projects to advance selective fishing practices aimed at minimizing bycatch of species of concern;
- new aquaculture technologies and processes to improve environmental performance and increase supply chain transparency; and
- infrastructure upgrades or improvements to existing hatcheries.