By Trish Dunn
Canada launched a $647.1 million dollar salmon strategy on Tuesday June 8, 2021 to restore Pacific wild salmon stocks.
Salmon are on the brink of collapse due to climate change, fish farming, havevesting, and habitat degradation. The investment was announced in the Federal Budget in April and is the largest ever of its kind.
“Many Pacific wild salmon are on the verge of collapse, and we need to take bold, ambitious action now if we are to reverse the trend and give them a fighting chance at survival,” Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan said in a statement.
Pacific salmon usually take 4-5 years to complete the reproduction cycle.
The Canadian government is going to monitor the program for the next five years and make the appropriate adjustments.
The warming oceans are altering the marine food supply available for salmon. Warmer freshwater and extreme rain and drought are weakening the salmon stocks.
The Chinook salmon in the Fraser River are rapidly declining due to the struggle to return upstream to their spawning ground such as the Big Bar Slide, where they had to build a fish water slide to help them get around the slide section.
Salmon only spawn in the water where they were born, so if they can’t make it back to the place they were born, they die trying.
The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans prioritizes fish for Indigenous people. First Nations are unable to fill their harvest allocations due to low salmon returns caused by over fishing in open waters by commercial vessels, among other things that contribute to salmon dying before they reach home.