BC Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund will focus on salmon habitat protection and restoration
By Fabian Dawson
Ottawa will contribute more than $100 million over the next six years for a British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund, Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced today.
The provincial funding will be announced in the coming months, he said.
The BC Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund will focus on salmon habitat protection and restoration as well as ensuring the fish and seafood sector in British Columbia is positioned for long-term environmental and economic sustainability.
Similar to the successful Atlantic Fisheries Fund, it will help support projects focused on science partnerships, innovation, clean technology adoption, and green infrastructure investments that improve productivity, sustainability and safety.
Wilkinson, and B.C. Minister of Agriculture, Lana Popham were at the Pacific Science Enterprise Centre in West Vancouver today to speak about details of the program, which was outlined in the Fall Economic Statement 2018 to support wild pacific salmon.
“We know that fisheries are an important source of good, middle-class jobs in coastal communities, and we have a responsibility to ensure that resources are managed sustainably and protected wisely, so our children and grandchildren can benefit from them for years to come,” said Wilkinson.
“The fish and seafood industry in our province supports communities and First Nations up and down our coastline and is the backbone of economies throughout B.C.,” said Popham.
“I look forward to the work ahead to ensure this significant investment aligns with sustainable priorities and innovative opportunities to strengthen our uniquely positioned sector, and provide prosperity to the people that work in it,” she said.
John Paul Fraser, the executive director of the B.C. Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) said:
“B.C.’s salmon farmers have worked closely with communities on wild salmon restoration, recovery and research projects…this announcement gives us, and the whole salmon community, an opportunity to do more to protect this iconic and threatened species.”
The Federal government is also proposing to make a one-time contribution of $5 million to the Pacific Salmon Endowment Fund.
The endowment fund plays a vital role by investing in the ongoing work of the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) to conserve wild salmon.
“This investment will go a long way to help support our hundreds of non-profit partners that work in communities across British Columbia to conserve wild salmon. We are looking forward to our continued collaboration to help protect and restore wild salmon,” said Brian Riddell, CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation
The British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund will be detailing eligibility, project criteria and accepting Expressions of Interest on a website in the coming weeks.
B.C.’s seafood sector comprises primary production from commercial fishing and aquaculture.
It is consistently ranked as the 4th largest farmed Atlantic salmon producer in the world.
B.C. also leads the nation in sales of farmed and wild salmon, halibut, rockfish, hake, tuna and farmed oysters and clams totalling $1.2 billion.
Meanwhile, the provincial government said it wants your input to develop a made-in-BC wild salmon strategy that will support restoring healthy and abundant wild salmon stocks.
To provide your feedback go here