Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council

Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council

July 18, 2007 12:27 ET

Pacific Fisheries Council Calls for Innovation to Conserve BC's Salmon Stocks

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 18, 2007) - To make progress in finding solutions to fisheries conservation problems, governments and education institutions must come up with increased funding for innovative fisheries research, says the Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (PFRCC).

In their annual report published today, Council members note that the salmon fishery has lacked any major breakthroughs in new thinking or innovative techniques in protecting or nurturing Pacific salmon. This has led to serious gaps and delays in translating emerging scientific knowledge into new methods of conserving salmon stocks.

"Continuous budget reductions and funding restrictions have discouraged innovation in salmon management," says Paul LeBlond, chair of the Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (www.fish.bc.ca)."Fisheries managers in both federal and provincial governments have been focused on simply coping with their continuing responsibilities with fewer resources. We are calling for more time and money to be devoted to finding and testing new methods and activities that could have positive results for salmon conservation."

The annual report lists Council's activities in 2006/07 and highlights Council's new focus on meeting with the public in their communities to gather input which helps direct the Council's activities. Attached to the report are summaries of two PFRCC public meetings: What's Happening to Wild Salmon in Your Community? What the Council Heard: Vancouver Island Public Meetings March 2006 and What's Happening to Wild Salmon in Your Community? What the Council Heard: BC Interior Public Meetings October 2006. In 2007/08 Council has scheduled public meetings on the North Coast and the upper Fraser regions.

Last year PFRCC reached out to the public directly by producing a brochure on the impact of climate change on Pacific salmon called Feeling the Heat: Can We Help Salmon Survive Climate Change?. Council is putting an emphasis on salmon issues related to climate change and will publish a significant report on that topic later this year.

Council continued to emphasize the need for an ecosystem approach in managing Pacific salmon. Council also took a strong position on the state of sockeye in the Adams River and on the worrying trend of pre-spawning mortality. They also published reports on First Nations, sports fisheries, and advised the federal Fisheries department regarding implementing the Wild Salmon Policy.

A full copy of the PFRCC 2006/07 annual report is available at http://www.fish.bc.ca.

The Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council was created in 1998 to serve as a source of information to the public and advice to governments on wild Pacific salmon and steelhead and their ocean and freshwater habitats.

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