By Maryam Farag
The Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia announced $30.5 million in funding for 22 projects under the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund (BCSRIF).
Of the 22 projects, 18 will be led by or conducted in partnership with Indigenous organizations and communities across British Columbia.
This announcement comes in the midst of the B.C. aquaculture industry’s fight to keep 79 salmon farming licenses. The BC Salmon Farmers Association’s economic analysis report has estimated that 4,700 jobs and CA$1.2 billion in economic activity, and $427 million in GDP are at risk if 79 salmon farming licenses are not reissued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada by June.
“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to protect and rebuild wild Pacific salmon stocks,” Joyce Murray, Minister, Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard. “BCSRIF harnesses British Columbians’ shared passion and commitment to finding innovative ways to regenerate wild salmon abundance and the fisheries they support.”
- The Chemainus/Koksilah Twinned Watershed Salmon Sustainability Project, which aims to record and assess the status, abundance, and preferred habitat of various salmon species in the Chemainus and Koksilah rivers and then use that data to monitor demonstration restoration initiatives addressing low flow impacts on critical anadromous salmonid habitats in those watersheds.
- The Pacific Salmon Foundation’s project to expand and improve the use of the Pacific Salmon Explorer, an interactive data visualization tool that tracks and reports information on the status of fish Conservation Units and their freshwater habitats in B.C.
- The next stage of Makeway Charitable Society’s Resilient Waters initiative, which will restore connections to salmon habitat to the Lower Fraser River that have long been broken by flood control infrastructure.
- The First Nations Fisheries Legacy Fund Society’s project to enhance capacity for monitoring and managing wild salmon habitat in First Nations by integrating community mapping and geospatial technologies.
“These diverse BCSRIF projects vary in location, scale and proponents; together, they all contribute to protecting and restoring wild fisheries, creating a more sustainable future for local communities and workers,” said Fin Donnelly, Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Government of British Columbia.