|More closures and additional funding were the themes from the Federal
Government on Thursday with the North Coast to see close to
one million dollars put towards salmon habitat restoration
(archive photo from CPAC)
The state of the Pacific Salmon Fishery saw the Federal government take two paths on Thursday, with further salmon closures announced, this time related to the Chinook fishery, while at the same time delivering over 9 million dollars towards habitat restoration, some of it earmarked for the North Coast.
The Thursday announcement puts the focus on recreation and commercial areas of southern waters, but additional reductions will also be found across coastal BC.
A reduction in the total fishery removals for Chinook salmon of 25-35% will help conserve this important species and increase prey availability for Southern Resident Killer Whales. Fishery closures for recreational finfish and commercial salmon fisheries in portions of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and portions of the Gulf Islands, and partial closures in the mouth of the Fraser River will protect key foraging areas for these whales.
Additional measures to achieve Chinook fishery reductions across the B.C. coast includes reduced harvest limits, size limits and time restrictions, and select area closures to protect wild Chinook stocks of concern.
As for the funding for habitat restoration, Dominic LeBlanc the Federal Fisheries Minister announced that money through the Federal government's Ocean Protection Plan would be put to use in support of eight projects in British Columbia, one of which will be used to develop and restore habitat on the Skeena River system.
|Five years of Funding for fishery habitat restoration
has been provided for the Skeena River
The focus of the salmon rehabilitation project is to assist the stock levels of Chinook that the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale feasts on.
On the Skeena River, the North Coast Skeena First Nations Stewardship Society will receive 875,000 dollars over five years to carry out habitat restoration projects for Sockeye, Chinook and Chum salmon.
The funding was welcomed by Rob Grodecki, the Executive Director of the Stewardship Society who highlighted the importance of salmon to the First Nations of the Skeena.
"The North Coast-Skeena Stewardship Society is pleased to have been funded for a five year Coastal Restoration Fund project to restore and rehabilitate salmon habitat in the lower Skeena river and estuary. Since time immemorial, First Nations along the Skeena river have maintained profound cultural and food security relationships to Skeena salmon.
Our organization is excited to be able to be managing a project that will eventually enhance First Nation's access to Skeena salmon for food, social and ceremonious purposes as per section 35 of the Canadian Constitution."
NDP MP Nathan Cullen, who has been in frequent discussion with DFO officials of late made note of the federal announcement on Thursday,
You can review the full level of funding for all areas of British Columbia from the DFO announcement from Thursday here.
Further notes on the British Columbia and Alaska fishery can be found on our archive page here.
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