Canada and Province of British Columbia invest in salmon and habitat research and aquaculture science

Canada and Province of British Columbia invest in salmon and habitat research and aquaculture science

Vancouver, BC – Healthy ecosystems promote healthy wild fish stocks, stimulate the economy, and preserve the social fabric of BC’s coastal communities, and Indigenous cultures and livelihoods. Supporting British Columbia’s fish and seafood sector is a priority for both the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia (BC).

Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, and the BC Parliamentary Secretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Fin Donnelly, announced $10.23 million in funding for 12 projects under the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund (BCSRIF).

The following projects have received BCSRIF funding:

  • The University of British Columbia will monitor the lipid content of Fraser River-bound Chinook at Albion.
  • Under a separate agreement, the University of British Columbia will develop a cumulative effects modelling framework for the recovery of aquatic salmonid populations.
  • The Secwepemc Fisheries Commission, on behalf of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council Society, will carry out a freshwater research and restoration initiative in the Thompson River watershed.
  • The Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance will carry out First Nations-led catch monitoring to assist in sustainable mixed stock fisheries management on the Central Coast.
  • The Seymour Salmonid Society will carry out infrastructure renewal work on their hatchery.
  • Simon Fraser University will study the impact of landslides on the flow dynamics, migration and genetics of Fraser River salmon.
  • The Sunshine Coast Salmonid Society will conduct water supply and capacity upgrades to the Chapman Creek Hatchery.
  • The Nanaimo River Stewardship Society will carry out upgrades to its hatchery to improve performance, assessment, and monitoring capabilities.
  • The Cascadia Seaweed Corporation will assess the possibility of coastal kelp farms to serve as novel habitat for migrating salmonids and their prey.
  • Nova Harvest will receive funding to improve the capacity of the West Coast oyster industry.
  • The Sport Fishing Institute of BC will continue the next phase of its Vision for the recreational fishing industry in BC.
  • The T Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation will use the funding it receives to enhance the sustainability of the province’s fisheries.

Funding under the BCSRIF program has now been awarded to 60 projects since its inception in 2019, and represents an investment of more than $85 million for the future of wild Pacific salmon and the BC fish and seafood sector. As a cost-shared program between the federal and BC governments, applications are assessed jointly by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Province of British Columbia against a variety of criteria and must receive joint approval to proceed. These latest investments will benefit BC’s fish and seafood sector by ensuring it can continue to offer stable employment to thousands of Canadians. By supporting projects that build environmental and economic resilience, BCSRIF is also contributing to our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the next five years, Canada is contributing an additional $100 million to support projects focused on habitat protection and restoration, including the maintenance of healthy and diverse salmon populations and other BC fish stock Applicants will be encouraged to submit applications when DFO and BC launch the next application phase.

BCSRIF funding is open to Indigenous communities, industry associations, environmental non-governmental organizations, commercial enterprises, and academic institutions. Investments through this program will help recover salmon habitat, benefit commercial and recreational fishing and aquaculture, as well as support science and research initiatives.

Quotes

“Through the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund, we’re investing in hard working, innovative Canadians who want to protect our environment and grow a more sustainable Blue Economy. The projects we’re supporting will create good jobs on the west coast, and ensure that we continue to produce the world-class seafood that Canada is known for.”

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard

“I continue to be impressed with the innovation and commitment demonstrated by British Columbians. Their efforts in addressing the challenges facing Pacific salmon here on the West Coast and in advancing the science of aquaculture all signal a bright future for Canada’s Blue Economy.”

Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, and Member of Parliament for Burnaby North—Seymour

“These projects show the commitment of First Nations, the not-for-profit community, researchers and all British Columbians to restore our wild salmon populations and the resilient ecosystems they, and so many other species, need to survive. As we all witness the harsh realities of a changing climate in B.C. this summer, the people contributing to this work bring hope through their energy, dedication and expertise and show what we can accomplish by working together.”

Fin Donnelly, Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Government of British Columbia

Quick facts

  • Launched in March 2019, the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund has made investments in support of habitat protection and restoration, ensuring the fish and seafood sector in British Columbia is positioned for long-term environmental and economic sustainability.
  • The BCSRIF is a 70 per cent federal, 30 per cent provincial cost-shared program.
  • The Government of Canada is investing $200M over seven years for the BCSRIF, as well as a one-time investment of $5M for the Pacific Salmon Endowment Fund.
  • The Government of British Columbia’s current investment is $42.85M over five years.
  • BCSRIF funding is open to applications from Indigenous communities, commercial organizations in the wild fisheries and aquaculture sectors, recreational fisheries, as well as non-commercial organizations such as universities and research institutions, industry associations, and conservation groups.

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