A government-appointed council says British Columbia must take immediate action to increase wild salmon populations. (Photo Courtesy of Monica Lamb-Yorski)

Wild salmon council calls for immediate actions to increase B.C.’s wild salmon

Council says government must focus on ‘tangible, achievable, near-term actions’

A government-appointed council says British Columbia must take immediate action to increase wild salmon populations.

The Wild Salmon Advisory Council says in a report Friday the provincial government must focus on “tangible, achievable, near-term actions” that address the immediate needs of wild salmon and their habitat.

The council’s 30-page report says the government should take on the role of the champion of wild salmon.

It says that despite billions of dollars in public and private investments over the past 30 years to protect, restore, enhance and manage B.C.’s wild salmon and steelhead populations, the stocks continue to weaken, with some at alarming rates.

“We heard at multiple times, and in many ways, that increasing wild salmon abundance is and should be a provincial government goal,” the report says. “We also heard repeatedly that the citizens of B.C., and particularly adjacent communities, must benefit directly from the public investment that will be required.”

READ MORE: B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

The 14-member council included representatives from the fishing industry, conservation groups, Indigenous communities and provincial politicians, including NDP co-chairman Doug Routley and Green legislature member Adam Olsen. Heiltsuk Nation Chief Marilyn Slett also served as the council’s co-chairwoman.

The council held meetings in seven communities, including Campbell River, Kamloops and Skidegate, in December and January and met with wild salmon stakeholders in Vancouver for two days.

The report makes 13 recommendations to the government to increase wild salmon populations, urging quick action to protect salmon habitats that have not been disturbed and restore degraded habitats.

The government said it is reviewing the council’s report as part of its plan to restore wild salmon stocks.

Salmon conservation groups said they were pleased with the council’s recommendations to increase wild stocks and protect and restore habitat, but were concerned about calls to support the commercial fishery in areas of threatened fish stocks.

“There’s a strong focus on revitalizing the commercial fishing industry, but no talk at all about the impacts of fishing on endangered salmon stocks,” said Aaron Hill, executive director of the Watershed Watch Salmon Society. “And there’s no talk of moving to new technologies that will allow for sustainable harvests of abundant runs while minimizing the harvest of endangered stocks.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC SPCA team helps discover new feline virus after outbreak at Quesnel shelter

Fechavirus is a kind of parvovirus, which makes cats and kittens very sick

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Commercial salmon fisheries delayed for Bella Coola area

DFO notice says Area C gill net fisheries in Area 8 have been delayed until June 15

Pacific Coastal won’t open until community is ready

The company has suspended operations until further notice

Minimum wage goes up June 1 in B.C. as businesses face COVID-19 challenges

The minimum wage jumps by 75 cents to $14.60 an hour on Monday

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

Most Read