Wild Pacific Salmon Policy Forum 3: Summary Report

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On December 8, 2005, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) convened 60 First Nations representatives and stakeholders in Burnaby, BC to discuss implementation of Canada’s Policy for the Conservation of Wild Pacific Salmon (WSP). The purpose of the forum was to discuss the draft Wild Salmon Policy Work Plan, with the goal of identifying ways to consult and collaborate in implementing the Policy, specifically its first four strategies.

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans released the Wild Salmon Policy in June 2005. The Policy is the foundation for the Fisheries Reform initiative in the Pacific region that the Minister announced earlier in 2005. It supports two of the initiative’s four major themes:

  • Sustaining strong salmon populations by setting clear conservation objectives based on the principles of the Wild Salmon Policy;
  • Strengthening DFO programs that are critical to conservation, such as habitat protection, enforcement and the scientific assessment of stocks.

The December 8 forum was the third DFO has conducted to address the Wild Salmon Policy. In the first two forums First Nations representatives, stakeholders and DFO staff worked together to develop and refine the WSP, specifically the Policy’s six strategies. With the third forum, the emphasis of consultation moved to examining how the WSP will be implemented and who will be involved.

In preparation for the forum the WSP Working Group developed a draft Wild Salmon Policy Implementation Work Plan as well as key questions to focus the forum’s discussion. You will find the Work Plan in Appendix A of this report, and the discussion questions on the forum’s agenda in Appendix B. Appendix C is a point-by-point record of participants’ comments.

Alternating plenary sessions and small group discussions provided the forum’s structure. In plenary sessions, scientists and policy analysts from the WSP Working Group presented proposed steps for implementing each of the Policy’s first four strategies. The morning plenary and discussions addressed standardized monitoring of wild salmon status and assessment of habitat status; the afternoon sessions focused on inclusion of ecosystem values and integrated strategic planning. Participants discussed each of the four strategies in small facilitated groups.

This report presents the findings and themes from the plenaries and small-group discussions. Comments are arranged by strategy and grouped by theme. Please note that these comments are not statements of consensus.

The body of this report is organized as follows:

  1. Goal, Objectives and Principles
  2. Findings
  3. Comments on the Consultation Process and the WSP
  4. Themes and Comments Concerning Implementation of Strategies 1 – 4
  5. Recommendations
  6. Appendices