VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 22, 2013) - Dr. Brian Riddell, president and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation, made the following statement today responding to the release of the 2013 federal budget. When enacted the budget will return 100 per cent of user fees collected from sales of the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Stamp, commonly known as the Salmon Conservation Stamp, be directed to community salmon conservation, restoration and enhancement activities funded by the Pacific Salmon Foundation. Since 1996, the Foundation has received $1.00 from the sale of each $6.00 adult stamp purchased, and 4.00 from each stamp purchased by a juvenile under 16 years of age.
Dr. Riddell said: "I commend the Government of Canada for making sure that each dollar an angler pays for the Salmon Conservation Stamp is returned to B.C. to support Pacific salmon conservation and restoration. This change will result in significant investments in our fisheries that will be looked upon favorably by recreational and commercial fishers, First Nations, coastal communities and conservationists. I am grateful that this proposal received broad support from a range of stakeholders who care about Pacific salmon, including business leaders, recreational and commercial fishing interests, and volunteer streamkeepers. Special thanks is due to MP Andrew Saxton, who championed this proposal, as well as MP Randy Kamp for his leadership as parliamentary secretary for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, MP Mark Strahl, chair of the BC Government Caucus, MP Richard Harris, former chair, as well as Minister James Moore, the senior minister in B.C., who offered leadership on behalf of the proposal within Cabinet. My sincerest thanks to all those involved!"
The Recreational Fisheries Conservation Stamp, known as the "Salmon Stamp", is a $6.00 postage-stamp sized decal that must be purchased annually by anglers if they wish to keep Pacific salmon caught in tidal waters along Canada's west coast. The stamp is bought in addition to the federal fishing license and is considered a special user-fee (not a license or tax).
Since 1989, the Pacific Salmon Foundation has received $6.45 million in salmon stamp funds used to support 1,387 volunteer-driven salmon projects in British Columbia. The Pacific Salmon Foundation has raised an additional $3.4 million and with local donations and in-kind support from communities, the total value of the projects is now $72.025 million worth of work to sustain Pacific salmon!
Since the creation of the Salmon Conservation Stamp in 1989, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has had a "contribution agreement" that allows the Pacific Salmon Foundation to distribute Salmon Conservation Stamp user fees through its Community Salmon Program, which provides grants to volunteer-driven efforts to monitor watersheds, develop and implement rehabilitation projects, educate and inform their community and promote conservation and protection of Pacific salmon. By agreement with the federal government, the Foundation can only use 10 per cent of the Salmon Stamp fees it receives for administration.