On Jan. 25, 2022, the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) and the Rivershed Society of BC co-hosted a webinar and strategy session to begin developing a collaborative conservation strategy for the Fraser River area.
The complex area provides critical salmon and wildlife habitat, but leadership and coordination are required to improve conservation outcomes amongst stakeholders with diverse objectives, including First Nations, provincial, and federal governments, local jurisdictions, international regimes, ENGOs, and academia. This event underscores “the importance of bringing everyone into one venue to have these discussions to deal with the salmon crisis,” said Murray Ned, executive director of the Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance and PSF board member.
The “Heart of the Fraser Strategy Session” brought together roughly 85 stakeholders from the federal and provincial governments, First Nations, and non-governmental organizations to address the threats and opportunities for a conservation plan in the Fraser River area between Hope and Mission.
First Nations fisheries in the Fraser River have been reduced to roughly 10 per cent of what they were three decades ago, notes Ned. He said in the early 1990s, there were three days of fishing in any given week, averaging out to 3,744 hours of fishing for each year. But in 2021, there were merely 15 days of fishing for the entire year, totalling 260 hours annually.
The participants will be reconvening soon to establish next steps, objectives, and an action plan. For the latest updates on the Heart of the Fraser collaboration, subscribe to PSF’s e-newsletter and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.