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Investing in the future of B.C.’s fish and seafood sector with seven new projects


August 6, 2021
By Hatchery International Staff

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In support of British Columbia’s fish and seafood sector, the Government of Canada’s minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, Hon. Bernadette Jordan, as well as the B.C. Parliamentary secretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Fin Donnelly, have announced CAD $7.9 million in funding for seven projects under the B.C. Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund (BCSRIF).

The Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) will develop a set of climate action priorities for salmon. The three-year project looks at three components:

  • assessing potential impediments along the Fraser River that have led to the late return of salmon spawners and removing or alleviating them;
  • developing best practices to prioritize the needs of salmon when carrying out landscape recovery following major fires;
  • and conducting research to improve genetic baseline data to better understand differences between distinct salmon populations and those currently used to identify Conservation Units.

Additionally, six more projects have been approved for BCSRIF funding:

  • Lake Babine First Nation will conduct surveys to collect information on the total number of sockeye harvested by sport fishermen, harvest per unit effort, and angler origin, to contribute to in-season management decisions.
  • After suffering major damage in 2014, the Kingfisher Interpretive Centre Society will work to repair the water intake system for its hatchery in Cooke Creek, improving its efforts to enhance local Chinook salmon stocks.
  • The BC Shellfish Growers’ Association (BCSGA)will enable industry members to adopt innovative new shellfish processing and handling, environmental stewardship, and traceability technologies to ensure that the shellfish aquaculture industry remains a pillar of B.C.’s coastal communities.
  • Seed Science Ltd. will investigate a more energy-efficient method to produce higher-quality algae as food for cultured bivalves. If successful, this will contribute to improved health and resilience for the bivalves once introduced into the marine environment.
  • The We Wai Kai First Nation will undertake fish habitat surveys to investigate the business potential and potential environmental impacts of sablefish aquaculture operations.
  • The Gwabalis Fisheries Society will undertake an area-wide aquaculture survey to identify, assess and report on sustainable aquaculture opportunities within the respective traditional territories of the Society’s member nations.

“Wild salmon are on the decline and it’s going to take all of us working together to conserve, protect and restore this culturally and ecologically important species. We need to paddle together, including First Nations, fishers, stream keepers, researchers and others if we are to rebuild salmon populations,” said Donnelly. “By funding projects through the BCSRIF that focus on innovation and scientific partnerships, we’re giving wild salmon and B.C.’s seafood sector every chance to survive in BC waters for generations to come.”

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