MSC Releases Surveillance Audit for BC Salmon

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) released its Surveillance Audit Final Report in December 2018 on British Columbia pink, chum and sockeye fisheries.

The report covers the clients progress on conditions laid out in the original re-assessment in 2016. BC Salmon. The MCC participated in stakeholder meetings on Oct. 18th in Vancouver with comments and advice related to many of the conditions.

Of the 22 conditions assessed, 9 were behind target, 10 were on target and 3 were ahead of target in terms of client progress in meeting the condition requirements.

Read the full report or visit the MSC fishery website for more documentation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salmon Outlook for 2019

DFO has released its Preliminary 2019 Salmon Outlook.

The Outlook provides information on the forecasted stock status for 2019 across BC’s coast and for all species of Pacific Salmon (pink, chum, sockeye, coho and Chinook).

The outlook is considered preliminary and there is considerable uncertainty in environmental conditions and returns per spawner for most populations.

Read the full report or listen and watch to the webinar including a presentation from DFO’s State of the Salmon Program that looks at broad scale environmental conditions over the past generation that may influence salmon returns in 2019.

Draft Groundfish Integrated Fisheries Management Plan for review

Comments due by January 8, 2019

The Groundfish Management Unit has prepared a draft Pacific Region Groundfish Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP) for the 2019/20 fishing season. We invite your input to this draft IFMP. The updated draft IFMP has now been posted to an ftp site and is available for review at the address listed below.

Read the consultation letter here.

Download the draft IFMP here.

Many BC south coast Chinook populations listed under COSEWIC

COSEWIC released it most recent wildlife Species Assessment today. The assessment covers south coast Chinook including Fraser River, Thompson River, Vancouver Island and Southern Mainland populations.

Eight populations of Chinook were listed as endangered, four populations were listed as threatened, one population was listed as special concern, two as data deficient and one as not at risk.

From the COSEWIC press release:

Along with other species, COSEWIC also examined the status of Chinook Salmon, the king of the Pacific Coast salmon species. Mainly a migratory species, these large-bodied fish were historically abundant. Chinook Salmon are important culturally and as a food source for diverse groups of West Coast people, and also provide food for a diversity of wildlife species. The committee found 13 populations to be declining, with 8 assessed as Endangered, 4 as Threatened and one as Special Concern. Only the large population that lives in the Thompson River is stable.

“Many of these populations are in trouble”, stated John Neilson, Co-chair of the Marine Fishes subcommittee. “This may impact many species, including Endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale, which rely on Chinook Salmon for food.”

To see the full list of assessed species visit the COSEWIC website here, or view a PDF table.

MCC provides feedback on Thompson and Chilcotin River steelhead

Subject: Support for listing Thompson & Chilcotin River steelhead under Canada’s Species at Risk Act.

Released: November 29, 2018

To: Species at Risk Program, Pacific Region

On November 29th, 2018, the MCC Salmon Committee provided support for listing Thompson & Chilcotin River steelhead under Canada’s Species at Risk Act.

The submission provides answers to the questions listed in the “Survey on the emergency listing of the Steelhead Trout (Thompson and Chilcotin populations) under the Species at Risk Act”, which we accessed online at http://isdm.gc.ca/survey-enquete/eng/7d003481.

The submission contains the following points:

  1. We believe that listing would have significant economic, environmental, cultural and social benefits;
  2. Recovery is unlikely without listing. Any economic costs directly related to listing are short-term and are low relative to the costs of not listing and thereby forgoing recovery options.

The full submission can be found here:

Thompson Chilcotin consultation survey answers from MCC

 

$105 million for Restoration and Innovation

Statement of PSF President and CEO Dr. Brian Riddell

Regarding Fall Economic Update, New Wild Salmon Investments

Wild salmon and those of us who care deeply about them got some great news in federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s Fall Economic Update. We were delighted to hear Minister Morneau announce major new investments to sustain Canada’s fish stocks. The creation of a British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund – an investment of $105 million over six years – will include a $5 million contribution to the Pacific Salmon Endowment Fund (PSEF) in 2018-19. PSEF plays a vital role by investing in the on-going work of the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) and our hundreds of non-profit partners that work in communities across British Columbia to conserve wild salmon. We were also delighted to learn that significant new investments will be made in stock assessment as part of the new fisheries act. PSF has highlighted for many years the need for improved collection and analysis and sharing of data on salmon stocks – particularly critical are Chinook, coho, sockeye and steelhead stocks that have been in serious decline for many years. PSF and our partners, including DFO, have focused significant resources on improving science and data collection in recent years and it is extremely heartening to see new dollars announced on this front. On behalf of PSF, I commend Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal government for investments during the last three years that benefit Pacific salmon through renewed support for Fisheries and Oceans Canada but especially for those that help enable the success of non-profits like the Pacific Salmon Endowment Fund and Pacific Salmon Foundation. Minister Morneau rightly noted, “that the best solutions for Canada’s big challenges come from Canadians themselves.” On behalf of the thousands of volunteers and donors to PSF and in the broader “Salmon Community,” we agree and say thank you!

Sustaining Canada’s Wild Fish Stocks – Fall Economic Update 2018

From coast to coast to coast, Canada is privileged to enjoy an abundance of rich natural resources. With this privilege comes the responsibility to ensure that these resources are managed sustainably and protected wisely, to ensure that Canadians can continue to benefit from them for years to come.

In 2012, the final report of the Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River was released, including broad recommendations on how to address factors leading to the decline of that species. The Government has now taken action to address all of the report’s recommendations, which represents a significant step toward protecting Fraser River sockeye salmon.

Government efforts to sustain Canada’s oceans and wild fish stocks have been reinforced through significant investments, including:

  • $197.1 million over five years of incremental funding for ocean and freshwater science.
  • $1.5 billion over five years to launch an ambitious and wide-ranging Oceans Protection Plan.
  • $284.2 million over five years to restore lost protections and incorporate modern safeguards into the Fisheries Act, which would support new legislative and regulatory tools.
  • $164.7 million over five years to protect, preserve and recover endangered whales, which includes research on salmon populations.
  • $61.5 million over five years to implement a suite of measures to protect and recover the Southern Resident Killer Whale, including funding that will support the conservation of wild pacific salmon.

The Government remains committed to the sustainability of wild Pacific salmon and recognizes that this commitment requires ongoing and incremental action in order to succeed. To support stock assessment and rebuilding efforts for priority Pacific salmon stocks, as well as other priority fish stocks across Canada, the Government proposes to invest $107.4 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, and $17.6 million per year ongoing, to support the implementation of stock assessment and rebuilding provisions in a renewed Fisheries Act.

Recognizing the importance of fisheries as a source of good, middle class jobs in coastal communities, as well as their importance to Canada’s economy as a whole, the Government is expanding on the success of the Atlantic Fisheries Fund, and proposes to invest $105 million over six years, starting in 2018–19, to create a British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund, which includes a contribution to the Pacific Salmon Endowment Fund of $5 million in 2018–19, as well as $30 million over five years, starting in 2019–20 for a Quebec Fisheries Fund. The B.C. and Quebec funds will support projects focused on innovation, clean technology adoption, infrastructure investments that improve productivity, sustainability and safety, and science partnerships.

Canada’s salmon hold the key to saving its killer whales

Desperate efforts to save the whales – and the Chinook salmon on which they depend – risk fishing communities losing a way of life.

The Guardian, 12 November 2018

Days before the start of the summer fishing season, when guides and outfitters on Canada’s west coast gamble their financial prospects for the year, fishing lodge owner Ryan Chamberland received devastating news.

The coastal waters of Vancouver Island, which he and four generations of his family had fished for salmon, would be out of bounds. The unexpected closure was part of a desperate effort by the Canadian government to save an endangered population of killer whales.

That same summer, Tahlequah, one of the threatened whales, nudged the lifeless body of her newborn calf for 17 days of mourning. Shortly after, the once-playful Scarlet, a three-year-old female orca, succumbed to a bacterial infection as scientists from the Canadian and US governments worked desperately to save her.

The unfolding tragedy of the southern resident killer whales – and the government response – has exposed a complex ecosystem in crisis. Chinook salmon, the whale’s main prey, are also disappearing. In an area heavily reliant on tourism and fishing, an impending collapse of the two species has led to feuding over how to stave off an ecological disaster.

To read the full story visit the Guardian website here.

Federal government rejects emergency order to protect killer whales

The Canadian Press

November 2, 2018

Story from the Times Colonist

VANCOUVER — The federal government has declined to issue an emergency order under the Species at Risk Act that would further protect the endangered killer whales off British Columbia’s coast.

An order-in-council issued Thursday said the government has already taken several measures to ensure the recovery of the southern resident killer whales.

Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said in a statement Friday that the government “carefully weighed various options” to protect the whales, and it does not believe an emergency order would be helpful.

“An emergency order does not contain measures in of itself, it is only a tool governments can use as an implementation mechanism,” he said.

Wilkinson said the government announced new measures on Wednesday to ensure that when the whales return to the waters in greater numbers in spring, they have cleaner water to swim in, more Chinook salmon to eat and a quieter place to call home.

To read the full story on the Times Colonist website click here.