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Government of Canada and Province of British Columbia join forces to protect Pacific salmon and the vital fisheries they support

June 20, 2024 at 2:15 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

From Fisheries and Oceans Canada:

Healthy fish stocks and prosperous fisheries rely on healthy and resilient ecosystems. Climate change, habitat degradation and other environmental challenges are putting stocks and ecosystems at risk. Innovative and collaborative approaches, founded in science, are crucial to ensuring that future generations can enjoy the significant economic, cultural and environmental benefits that Pacific salmon provide.

Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, B.C. Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Kelly Greene and B.C. Parliamentary Secretary for Watershed Restoration, Fin Donnelly on behalf of the B.C. Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship, the Honourable Nathan Cullen, announced $39.4M for 15 projects receiving funding under the second phase of the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund (BCSRIF).  

Of the 15 projects announced today, five directly address the effects of climate change events such as droughts, flooding and wildfires on Pacific salmon. These include: 

  • The Investment Agriculture Foundation British Columbia will receive $3M to work with Indigenous partners on a watershed-to-watershed basis, identifying climate change adaptation and mitigation goals 
  • The University of Northern British Columbia’s Department of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, will receive $5M to research the effects of climate change on salmon ecosystems and, with collaborators at Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance, to improve hatchery infrastructure for Chinook salmon enhancement and conservation 
  • The Pacific Salmon Foundation received $3.98M to help communities monitor climate change in salmon freshwater habitats and enable local and broad-scale planning for climate resilient salmon ecosystems 
  • Nanwakolas Council Society will receive $2.86M for the Nanwakolas 50 Watersheds Project, an Indigenous-led science partnership and research project to better understand, and develop tools to address, the threats posed by climate change and forest management on salmon populations and their habitat 

Other projects support habitat restoration, improvements to hatchery operations and sustainable sablefish aquaculture. The 15 projects announced today are vital in bolstering ecosystems and ensuring the long-term resilience of Pacific salmon, other fish species, and a robust seafood sector.  


“Our government is proud to invest in programs that protect BC’s salmon populations and the fisheries they support. The projects announced today represent concrete actions that will make salmon habitat more resilient in the face of climate change, so that we can ensure sustainable fisheries for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Once again, the BCSRIF is showing how innovative techniques and partnerships make all the difference in safeguarding the future of wild fish stocks.” 

The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard 

“British Columbia and Canada are taking unprecedented action to restore critical habitat for wild Pacific salmon and support the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of our fisheries. Research on the effects of climate change on salmon ecosystems, improvements to hatchery operations, and other amazing projects will be funded from this new round of investments from BCSRIF. Saving wild salmon means sustaining our environment and our communities.”

The Honourable Nathan Cullen, Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship and Minister Responsible for Fisheries

Quick Facts:

  • Launched in March 2019, BCSRIF has made investments in support of habitat protection and restoration, ensuring the fish and seafood sector in British Columbia is positioned for long-term environmental and economic sustainability.
  • The projects announced today are jointly funded through Canada’s Pacific Salmon Strategy Initiative (PSSI) and the Province of BC.
  • These contributions support recipients selected through BCSRIF’s second application intake in carrying out important conservation projects that restore salmon ecosystems while providing sustainable, resilient and prosperous fisheries.
  • Since inception in 2019, 170 projects have received BCSRIF funding, representing an investment of more than $257 million in the rebuilding of wild Pacific salmon stocks and supporting the BC fish and seafood sector.  
  • BCSRIF funding was open to applications from Indigenous communities, commercial organizations in the wild fisheries and aquaculture sectors, recreational fisheries, as well as non-commercial organizations such as universities and research institutions, industry associations, and conservation groups. 
  • BCSRIF is a 70 per cent federal, 30 per cent provincial cost-shared program. 
  • Budget 2021 committed an additional $100 million in new federal funding to expand the BCSRIF program, as a key component of the PSSI, bringing Canada’s total contribution to $200 million over seven years. With the Government of British Columbia’s mandate commitment to double its investment, the Province is providing $85.7 million over seven years. 
  • The Government of Canada’s Pacific Salmon Strategy Initiative is the largest-ever government investment in efforts to save Pacific salmon. Through this investment, Canada will undertake a strategic and coordinated long-term response, rooted in collaborative action, to stabilize and restore Pacific salmon for the ecosystems, people, and communities that depend upon their sustainability. 

Backgrounder: Government of Canada and Province of British Columbia support 15 climate resiliency, healthy ecosystems and sustainable fisheries:

Associated links:

British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund:  

BC Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund projects :

Pacific Salmon Strategy Initiative:

British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund annual results summary 2021 to 2022:

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