Wild Pacific salmon are integral to the economic and social fabric of coastal communities, and are fundamental to indigenous communities across Canada‘s province of British Columbia. The need to act now to protect habitat and restore the province’s declining wild fish stocks is clear, and indeed vital to the environmental and economic sustainability of the province.
As a result, on March 15, 2019, the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund was launched. The fund is a federal-provincial collaboration that will help restore the habitat of BC’s wild fish stocks in communities across British Columbia, and the protection of the province’s vulnerable wild Pacific salmon species. The Government of Canada is investing $100 million over five years, and the Government of British Columbia is investing $42.85 million over five years.
It will also support fisheries innovation, science and infrastructure so that BC fish stocks can be harvested sustainably into the future. These investments support the protection of BC’s wild fisheries and enhance sustainability in the aquaculture industry.
The fund is now open to proposals from Indigenous groups, conservation groups, commercial organizations in the wild fisheries and industry sectors, recreational fisheries, as well as non-commercial organizations such as universities and academia, industry associations and research institutions. The fund will support projects that leverage local knowledge such as local Indigenous monitoring and guardianship programs and community-led habitat restoration, among other innovative projects aimed at protecting and restoring wild fish stocks.
To be eligible, projects must focus on one or more of the following three areas:
- Innovation: to encourage the development of new technologies to increase productivity and help meet conservation and sustainability objectives, including the protection and restoration of wild BC stocks, including Pacific salmon;
- Infrastructure: to encourage capital investments in new products, processes or technologies to support the advancement of sustainable fishing practices and to support the protection and restoration of wild BC stocks, including Pacific salmon; and
- Science partnerships: to support collaborations with academia and other research institutions to improve our knowledge and understanding of impacts to wild stocks and to develop sustainable fishing practices.
Photo via Adobe Stock.