Canada gives First Nations role in Fraser salmon management

Canadian government officials have announced a landmark agreement with First Nations people to collaboratively manage Fraser River fisheries, which are known for their runs averaging 20-50 million salmon annually.

The conservation and restoration of Fraser salmon today and for generations to come is the highest priority when we are making governance and management decisions about this species, government officials said on July 5. The announcement coincided with the signing of the Fraser Salmon Collaborative Management Agreement between Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Fraser Salmon Management Council. FSMC includes 76 member First Nations representing just over 50 percent of British Columbia First Nations with access to Fraser salmon fisheries, which are an important food source as well as culturally significant.

The government announcement acknowledged a long standing and profound relationship between British Columbia First Nations and Fraser salmon.

FSMC President Darren Haskell said the occasion marked a historic nation-to-nation moment between Indigenous peoples and Canada.

“We have long fought for our rightful place at the table in the management of the fisheries resources that are critical to our communities’ well-being,” Haskell said. “We look forward to working collaboratively on behalf of Fraser salmon.”

“Not only does this renewed collaboration help secure the sustainability of our fisheries for the long-term, it ensures that moving forward decisions made are based on shared principles for the protection and conservation of Fraser salmon stocks,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.