First Nations, B.C. groups launch coalition to save Pacific salmon from extinction

VANCOUVER — A leader with the First Nations Fisheries Council of B.C. says collaboration, not politics, will be the only thing that saves dwindling Pacific salmon populations.

Jordan Point says salmon runs in B.C. are collapsing and extinction is not an option.

The council is joining with the Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance, the Pacific Salmon Foundation, the First Nations Summit and the Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance to find solutions.

The coalition says Pacific salmon populations have declined by more than 90 per cent since the 1970s and warns that if the stock collapses, other species — like southern resident killer whales, whose diet is primarily salmon — are also at risk of extinction.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has said many salmon stocks are declining to historic lows due to the effects of climate change, habitat loss and other threats.

Mike Meneer, CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation, says in a news release that the first step is to create a collaborative plan to rebuild wild stocks and help them adapt to climate change.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 6, 2023.

The Canadian Press