MCC Salmon Committee submits comments to IFMP

Comments on the North and South Coast Integrated Fishing Management Plans for Salmon were due on April 20. We (the MCC Salmon committee) submitted comments on the IFMPs.

Our comments cover Chinook, sockeye, coho, pink and chum fisheries management across the province of BC, as well as on catch monitoring and compliance, hatcheries, total mortalities and Fisheries Related Incidental Mortalities, Big Bar and COVID-19 implications.

Our Chinook comments are based on feedback we provided on April 9th. The Salmon Committee of the Pacific Marine Conservation Caucus (MCC) submitted comments April 9 on fisheries affecting threatened and endangered early-timed Fraser stream types. The recommendations herein address other aspects of managing these threatened and endangered Fraser CUs, other at-risk Chinook Conservation Units in BC, the failure to meet the Wild Salmon Policy principles 1, 2, 4 and 6 which aim to protect unique attributes of Chinook diversity, abundance and distribution, and the failure to consider fishery impacts limiting the abundance of Chinook within SRKW critical habitat.

For information on the other aspects of our submission and recommendations, download the full letter.

Cohen Response Status Update – October 2018

Announced during the International Year of the Salmon event on October 11 in Vancouver, a new update on the Cohen Commission recommendations has been released. See details below.

In 2009, Canada established the Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River (Cohen Commission) to investigate the decline of sockeye salmon stocks. While the final report of the Cohen Commission, The Uncertain Future of Fraser River Sockeye, released in October 2012, did not find any “smoking gun” or single factor leading to decreased Pacific salmon stocks, it did make 75 recommendations. The Government of Canada, including Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), as well as the Province of British Columbia (BC), have now taken actions to address all 75 of these recommendations (see Table 1 below).

Wild salmon are important to the Government of Canada, and through its actions, DFO continues to protect and rebuild the iconic and keystone Pacific salmon species in collaboration with partners for the benefit of the people of Canada and Canada’s marine, coastal and terrestrial ecosystems. DFO has reviewed each recommendation to ensure that the department is doing all that it can, within its mandate and resources, to address the health and long-term sustainability of Fraser River sockeye salmon stocks, as well as wild Pacific salmon more broadly, but there remains more that can be done. Previous updates of actions taken were provided in August 2016 and September 2017. This final status report provides updated information on actions taken over the past year under the 5 themes of Wild Salmon Policy (WSP), fisheries management, habitat, aquaculture, and science, with a more detailed summary of DFO’s response to all 75 recommendations over the past 3 years included as an annex.

Although this is the final Cohen Response status update, the governments of Canada and British Columbia recognize that acting on many of the recommendations is an ongoing, incremental task. Going forward, ongoing work on many of the Cohen recommendations will continue, particularly across several key areas, such as salmon stock assessment, health status assessment, habitat protection and restoration, precautionary approach to salmon aquaculture, and fisheries management. Many commitments to ongoing action are also reflected in the Wild Salmon Policy 2018-2022 Implementation Plan which outlines specific activities and approaches that will be led by the department over the next 5 years towards restoring and maintaining healthy and diverse Pacific salmon populations and their habitats.

For more details on the October 2018 update visit Fisheries and Oceans Canada website.