Wild Pacific salmon is integral to the economic and social fabric of coastal communities, and is fundamental to Indigenous communities across British Columbia. The need to act now to protect habitat and restore our wild fish stocks is clear and indeed vital to the environmental and economic sustainability of the province.
Friday, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson and BC Premier, the Honourable John Horgan, officially launched the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund in Victoria. This fund is a federal-provincial collaboration that will help restore the habitat of our wild fish stocks in communities across British Columbia, and the protection of our 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;
- 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.
The investments from the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund will ensure BC’s wild fisheries are environmentally and economically sustainable for the long-term and that jobs in the fishery are resilient to the challenges of climate change and evolving economic conditions. The fund will help protect and restore priority wild BC fish stocks, including Pacific salmon. Consumers will also benefit from high-quality, sustainably sourced, Canadian fish and seafood products.
To find out more about eligibility, project criteria and how to apply, visit the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund web page: bcsrif.ca (dfo-mpo.gc.ca) .
Written and released by BC Government.