Ecotrust: Announcement of BC Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund

Premier John Horgan and Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson have announced a new, joint funding program: the Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund.

Our colleagues at TBuck Suzuki Environmental Foundation and Ecotrust Canada have issued a joint statement in response to this exciting and promising step in ensuring that BC fisheries are environmentally and economically sustainable in the long-term. Read it here.

Press Release:

In an exciting new development, the BC provincial government has announced the launch of the Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund, a federal-provincial collaborative program dedicated to ensuring that BC fisheries are environmentally and economically sustainable for the long-term and to help to protect and restore priority wild BC fish stocks, including Pacific salmon.

Specifically, the program will fund innovation, infrastructure, and science partnerships so that BC fish stocks can be harvested sustainably into the future.

Jim McIsaac, executive director of T.Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation, states, “This is fantastic! It is great that the provincial government is paying attention to the coast and our fisheries, and it will be exciting to see this investment payout in social, cultural and economic dividends over the coming years.”

Tasha Sutcliffe, senior advisor at Ecotrust Canada, states,“I’m encouraged by Minister Lana Popham’s statement that the provincial and federal governments are working together to ‘protect the health of wild salmon and support the First Nations, communities and peoplethat rely on them.’ We should make sure it is clear that this includes the consideration of the social, cultural, and economic benefits that these communities derive from fisheries.”

Sutcliffe’s comment is particularly relevant in light of the recent study undertaken by the federal government on BC’s regulation of fishing licenses and quotas, and the impact of this policy regime on the distribution of socio-economic benefits and management of fisheries.

The federal government is expected to issue a report on the outcome of the study, and recommend next steps. “A clear message from the BC provincial government to Ottawa is key in this moment, voicing their support of policy reform that ensures equitable distribution of benefits from fish that are caught in our waters” adds Sutcliffe.“To truly support the BC First Nations, coastal communities, and individuals that rely on our fisheries, we must not only ensure the ongoing sustainability of this incredible resource, but we must also uphold connection to the multiple benefits that fisheries provide for these communities. BC fisheries policy reform, based on a collaborative, inclusive, and transparent process, is a necessary first step to get us there”

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