FNFC & PSF work toward a collaborative model for salmon recovery

The Pacific Salmon Action Dialogue Series – co-presented by the Pacific Salmon Foundation and the First Nations Fisheries Council of B.C. – brought together more than 100 participants from diverse backgrounds aligned by their passion for salmon to discuss what a collaborative framework for salmon recovery could look like in B.C.

The Pacific Salmon Action Dialogue Series aims to align and coordinate action for the conservation and recovery of wild Pacific salmon. Previous sessions focused on collaborative working models underway in B.C., Washington State, and the Great Lakes. From these, we have collectively developed “key ingredients for success” to help in the development of a collaborative framework.

The latest session, held on April 24, 2023, convened Federal, Provincial, and Indigenous governments, and key stakeholders to take a deeper dive into the notion of a shared declaration for salmon and a tripartite collaborative framework for salmon recovery.

The working collaborative model for salmon recovery works across three areas: provincial, regional, and watershed. Participants discussed the purpose of organizing at each scale, the distinctions between them, and how to effectively coordinate between scales to create positive outcomes for salmon.

“The Salmon Action Dialogues have been about the ‘social science’ of Pacific salmon protection and recovery. Various factors are negatively impacting Pacific salmon and these complex considerations require technical and social science, because extinction is not an option,” says Michael Meneer, CEO and president of the Pacific Salmon Foundation. “Current salmon management practices and investments in B.C. are separated by siloed jurisdictions and very top-down from Crown governments. We need a new model that is more collaborative, grassroots, and driven by what the salmon need throughout their lifecycles, especially in the freshwater and estuarine habitat where people have the most influence on the state of Pacific salmon. The Salmon Action Dialogues have confirmed there is broad and enthusiastic desire for people to come together at the grassroots level to improve how we plan and execute salmon protection and recovery.”

During the event, artist Erica Bota from Drawing It Out created the following graphic illustration in real-time to capture the major themes and speaking points from the discussions.

Facilitator Tawney Lem from West Coast Aquatic Management Association expertly guided the Salmon Action Dialogues. The following speakers delivered presentations:

  • James Mack (B.C. Ministry of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship)
  • Sarah Murdoch (Fisheries and Oceans Canada Pacific Salmon Strategy Initiative)
  • Murray Ned (Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance)
  • Katrina Connors (Pacific Salmon Foundation)
  • Dawn Machin (Okanagan Nation Alliance)
  • Stu Barnes (Skeena Fisheries Commission)
  • Tom Rutherford (Cowichan Watershed Board).

If you weren’t able to make the event, video recordings of the presentations and discussions are available online. Please send a message to salmon@psf.ca if you would like to be added to the Salmon Action Dialogues e-mail correspondence list.