VICTORIA, B.C. - May 16, 2019 - As part of government’s work to protect salmon habitat and restore wild fish stocks in B.C., the Province is investing $5 million in the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) to continue its wild salmon conservation work.
“In B.C., wild salmon are part who we are. Coastal communities, First Nations, ecosystems and local economies depend on healthy wild salmon stocks,” said Premier John Horgan. “Together with organizations like the Pacific Salmon Foundation, we are working to restore habitats that support wild salmon stocks in our province.”
The announcement was made as part of the first B.C. Wild Salmon Day, a collaborative effort by PSF and the B.C. government to raise awareness of the need to conserve this important species for First Nations and all British Columbians.
“The important cultural and ecological role that wild salmon play in our province cannot be overstated,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “It’s critical that we do everything that we can to protect this species for generations to come.”
The investment will help PSF, a non-profit organization, restore wild salmon stocks through its conservation, science and habitat restoration projects, as well as connect the foundation with Indigenous communities and organizations to further reconciliation and conservation initiatives.
“The Pacific Salmon Foundation is grateful to the provincial government for this investment in our work and for making wild salmon restoration a provincial priority,” said Michael Meneer, PSF president and CEO. “PSF is a collaborative organization. We intend to strategically leverage these funds through proactive partnerships developed during the past 32 years.”
The funding aligns with key recommendations from the Wild Salmon Advisory Council’s report, released in March 2019, which called on government to focus on near-term actions that could address the immediate needs of wild salmon and their habitats. It also delivers on the Province’s commitment to revitalize and protect wild salmon, which will provide greater economic certainty for B.C.’s coastal communities.
The Wild Salmon Advisory Council consists of 14 British Columbians, including co-chairs Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan, and Chief Marilyn Slett of the Heiltsuk First Nation. Restoration and protection of wild salmon is a shared priority with the BC Green Party caucus — Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, also participated on the Premier’s advisory council.
The event included students and teachers visiting the grounds of the Parliament Buildings and meeting with representatives of the PSF and community stream-keepers to learn about salmon conservation projects and how everyone can help protect B.C.’s vulnerable wild salmon populations in their communities.
Learning opportunities about salmon science, habitat conservation and restoration were paired with art activities such as the Stream of Dreams’ Fish on Fences project, where students were able to paint wooden salmon, personalizing their learning experience at the B.C. Parliament Buildings.
On March 15, 2019, the Province of British Columbia announced an investment of $42.9 million over five years to support the B.C. Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund in partnership with the Government of Canada, for a total investment of $142.85 million over 5 years.
During the International Year of the Salmon, the B.C. government provided $75,000 to support a comprehensive study of the stock abundance, composition and condition of Pacific salmon in the Gulf of Alaska.
The B.C. government was part of a historic government-to-government process with First Nations to protect wild salmon in the Broughton Archipelago.
The Pacific Salmon Foundation is a not-for-profit conservation group dedicated to protecting, conserving and restoring wild Pacific salmon populations in B.C.
Pacific Salmon Foundation: https://www.psf.ca/
Stream of Dreams: https://www.streamofdreams.org/
Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/initiatives/fish-fund-bc-fonds-peche-cb/index-eng.html
For more information on the study in the Gulf of Alaska, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019AGRI0015-000243
For more information on the Broughton Archipelago agreement, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018PREM0151-002412
For more information on fisheries and aquaculture in the province, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/fisheries-and-aquaculture/minister-of-agriculture-s-advisory-council-on-finfish-aquaculture
For more information on the final recommendations made by the Wild Salmon Advisory Group, visit: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/426/2019/03/Wild-Salmon-Advisory-Council-Report.pdf