In April 2019, Fisheries and Oceans Canada undertook necessary fisheries management measures to protect at-risk Fraser River Chinook salmon in response to significant conservation concerns. The recent landslide near Big Bar, north of Lillooet, B.C., has created a significant barrier to fish passage and is presently blocking most of these same Chinook from migrating upriver to spawn. At present, only a small percentage of spawning salmon are able to get over and reach spawning areas.
The Seymour River is home to many fish runs and is an integral part of the landscape of North Vancouver and the broader Vancouver area ecosystem. The rockslide that occurred in 2014 significantly impacted the waterway, the salmon run and the surrounding area. Together with Indigenous communities, local governments and non-governmental organizations including the Seymour Salmonid Society, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has been working to restore and conserve the Seymour River habitat.
Steelhead trout, an iconic British Columbia fish, have been in significant decline during recent years. The Thompson and Chilcotin Steelhead runs in particular have reached critically low levels. The Governments of Canada and British Columbia are working together to conserve, protect, and recover Thompson and Chilcotin steelhead populations.
Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, and British Columbia’s Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development in British Columbia, the Honourable Doug Donaldson along with Member of Parliament for Mission - Matsqui - Fraser Canyon, Jati Sidhu, visited the Big Bar Landslide’s integrated Incident Command Post at the Lillooet Fire Zone and Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Lillooet Field Office in B.C.
The Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation (FFMC) plays a critical role in collecting, processing and marketing freshwater fish on behalf of close to 1,600 harvesters, many from Indigenous communities that depend on this vital service.
Healthy wild fish stocks are vital to the economic prosperity and social fabric of British Columbia’s coastal communities. Wild Pacific salmon, in particular, are intrinsically linked to the identity of British Columbians and are fundamental to the culture of many Indigenous communities.
There is no relationship more important to the Government of Canada than the one with Indigenous Peoples. Our government is committed to advancing a renewed relationship with Indigenous communities, based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership. As part of this commitment, we are working to modernize and strengthen nation-to-nation, government-to-government structures, and to support a more collaborative approach to fisheries management by the Government of Canada and Indigenous Peoples.
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, attended and delivered a speech at the Fraser Watershed Initiative Restoration Conference today, along with Indigenous leaders, industry leaders and local non-governmental organizations.
Canada is an ocean nation. With the longest coastline in the world, from the Pacific, to the Arctic, to the Atlantic, we are blessed with an incredible diversity of marine ecosystems. Our shores are vital to the lives, well-being and culture of all Canadians, including almost 7 million coastal inhabitants. They are home to valuable fisheries and countless marine species. Our waters support the recreation, tourism and shipping activities that drive our economy.
The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, was at the University of British Columbia today to open the Ocean Heroes Vancouver Bootcamp taking place June 28-30th, 2019 at the University of British Columbia and Ocean Wise in Vancouver.