Province establishes council to guide strategy on protecting B.C.’s wild salmon

Province establishes council to guide strategy on protecting B.C.'s wild salmon
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WATCH: On Friday, the province announced the creation of a wild salmon advisory council, aimed at restoring stocks of B.C.’s salmon population. While some are praising the action, salmon advocates say it’s not enough. Mary Griffin reports.

The province is bringing a group of experts together for their insight to help develop a strategy to sustain B.C.’s salmon populations.

Premier John Horgan announced the establishment of the Wild Salmon Advisory Council (WSAC), which will be led by Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley and Heiltsuk First Nation Chief Marilyn Slett.

The council will address a range of issues affecting wild salmon as pressure mounts to maintain its stocks.

“Wild salmon are crucial to the success of our economy, the prosperity of coastal communities, and the lives, culture, and history of Indigenous peoples,” Horgan said.

The council will have 14 British Columbians with different perspectives on the role salmon play within B.C.’s environment, for Indigenous communities and local economies along the coast.

“The threats to fish stocks are many – habitat and ecosystem degradation, poor management, fish farms, climate change – and the majority of B.C.’s salmon runs are in decline,” Saanich North and the Islands MLA Adam Olsen said.

“The most important thing this government can do to restore wild salmon populations is to move from consultation to action, with urgency. We cannot continue to manage wild salmon runs to zero.”

Wild salmon strategy proposals will be developed in the summer based on advice from the WSAC.

Recommendations from the government will be submitted in the legislature and support a public consultation to look at the health and management of wild salmon in the province, which will help come up with a strategy for salmon sustainability.

File photo.

File photo.

Andy NealAndy Neal

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