Seven projects have been approved for funding under the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund (BCSRIF)
- The Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) will receive $3.2 million over three years to develop a set of Climate Action Priorities for Salmon with three main components: developing improved genetic baselines to understand genetic differences at a scale finer than Conservation Units; developing a ‘Playbook’ to guide landscape recovery strategies and priorities for salmon following major fires; and assessing Fraser River migration impediments:
- Given the high flows on the Fraser River and later than usual salmon returns to Big Bar in 2020, the Pacific Salmon Foundation will be assessing whether there are impediments along the route that led to the late return of spawners and removing or alleviating them; their research will include the existing fishways and other sites.
- Because habitat destruction can have a significant negative effect on returning salmon, the PSF will also develop best practices to prioritize the needs of salmon when carrying out landscape recovery following major fires – to help identify priority actions that lessen the fire’s impacts on the aquatic ecosystem, and/or accelerate recovery of the landscape. It will be useful not only in post-fire recovery, but will also inform forestry and landscape management, as well as habitat conservation and restoration.
- Lastly, the Foundation will conduct research to improve genetic baseline data to improve our understanding of the differences between distinct salmon populations. This will help inform those elements of biodiversity that should be conserved, and identify appropriate conservation measures, such as enhancement, habitat protection and restoration priorities, and fishery management priorities.
- The Lake Babine First Nation will receive $372,951 in BCSRIF funding to conduct creel surveys in each of the next three years to collect information on the total number of sockeye harvested by sport fishermen, harvest per unit effort, and angler origins. The creel surveys will provide valuable data on the catch and effort of the recreational Sockeye fishery in the area, supporting in-season fisheries management decisions.
- The Kingfisher Interpretive Centre Society (KICS) will receive $43,396 to carry out repairs to the water collection system for its hatchery in Cooke Creek, which suffered major damage in 2014. As a result of the damage, KICS has been forced to release unfed Chinook fry, resulting in higher mortalities. Feeding the fry will increase the survival rate and allow KICS to offer more visitors firsthand experience with these fish.
- The BC Shellfish Growers’ Association’s project will receive $3.5 million in BSCRIF funding to establish the Shellfish Aquaculture Strategic Renewal Program, focused on Innovative Shellfish Production Handling and Processing, Improved Environmental Performance, and Supply Chain Transparency ( to improve product traceability). Its aim is to encourage its industry to adopt innovative new shellfish processing and handling, environmental stewardship and traceability technologies to ensure that the shellfish aquaculture industry remains a pillar of BC’s coastal communities.
- Seed Science Ltd.’s will receive $475,493 to investigate a more energy-efficient method to produce higher-quality algae as food for cultured bivalves. This project will result in the production of cheaper, higher-quality food for bivalves, and enable juvenile bivalve to be kept on land longer, until they are big and healthy enough to better cope with the effects of ocean acidification when being introduced into the sea.
- The We Wai Kai First Nation will receive $144,200 in BCSRIF funding to explore the possible environmental impacts and determine the potential business benefits of sablefish aquaculture in a potential Joint Venture partnership with Golden Eagle Sablefish.
- The Gwabalis Fisheries Society’s Aquaculture Opportunities and Sustainability Survey project will identify potential economic development opportunities for Gwabalis Fisheries Society members. The Society has received $107,167 to undertake an area-wide aquaculture survey to identify, assess and report on sustainable aquaculture opportunities within the member Nations’ respective traditional territories. The survey will look at and collect data from areas likely to support aquaculture, based on environmental and ecological criteria as well as site accessibility, risks, and benefits.
Projects eligible for BCSRIF funding must have an emphasis 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.
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