New British Columbia projects aim to protect salmon

Research and restoration projects are in the works on Vancouver Island, British Columbia to address declining salmon stocks, Canadian government officials said on Monday, Aug. 26.

They 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.

“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,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

“Through the investments being made under the British Columbia Salmon Restauration and Innovation Fund (BCSRIF), we are taking decisive action in improving conditions and habitat in waterways across the province,” he said. “Working in partnership with the providence 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 investment of nearly $2.2 million will be used in projects led by the University of Victoria, the British Columbia Center for Aquatic Health Sciences, the Cowichan Valley Regional District and Cowichan Tribes, and the Comox Valley Project Watershed Society with the K’omoks First Nation and other partners.

BCSRIF funds are open to indigenous communities, industry associations, environmental non-governmental organizations and academic institutions. Each application will be reviewed and approved by the federal government and province of British Columbia.

The federal government plans to invest $100 million over five years and a one-time investment of $5 million for the Pacific Salmon Endowment Fund. The provincial government will invest $42.85 million over five years and provide a one-time grant of $5 million for the Pacific Salmon Foundation.