Just recently we heard about some restaurants in BC choosing to take salmon off of the menus because of concerns for overfishing and the salmon stock dwindling. Now, there are also crackdowns that reportedly have taken place on illegal fishing that has allegedly taken place on the Fraser River.
Authorities are trying to protect salmon stocks and at-risk orcas as well in their efforts to stop the illegal fishing from taking place.
Officials are looking to try and put a stop to the fishing that is going on around the Fraser River that shouldn’t be. They have been able to find hundreds of illegal fishing nets along the Fraser River already and this can pose serious harm to fish making their way through the region.
There are a variety of factors that have contributed to the growing concerns for the salmon population which includes issues like climate change, overfishing, and illegal fishing,
Over 1 Billion Seashore Animals Impacted: Canadian Heat Wave Cooks Shellfish
The recent heatwave that BC experienced wasn’t good news for millions of seashore animals in the area. It meant that high temperatures would cook those millions of shellfish to death, such as clams, mussels, and more. The temperatures were alarming and meant trouble for fish like salmon as well and not just shellfish.
The heat that the West Coast recently experienced through that record-breaking heatwave was something that surely didn’t help the already suffering salmon population. Now, there are various efforts in place that are trying to address the problem and that might even look like restaurants taking some salmon dishes off the menu as a result. There are other much more sustainable seafood options to go with other than salmon.
More Sustainable Seafood Options
This has prompted some to spread the message of effectively trying to restore oceans through seafood choices that we make at the market. But many of those much more sustainable seafood options aren’t as popular or appealing right now to many, such as mussels, oysters, and clams.
With the declining salmon population around BC there is also worry that this could spill over into impacting the orca population as well on the West Coast. Because of that depleted salmon stock this could leave them also at risk then if the problem isn’t addressed.
Closing Commercial Fisheries in BC
Already this summer we have seen many of the commercial salmon fisheries closed in the province which might not have been a shock to a few. Some of those who are close to the industry might have said they could see it coming.
Researchers have been busy looking into the declining salmon stock. Recently, UBC researchers investigated the salmon habitat more closely and found that much of the spawning stream area is inaccessible to the salmon. Overall, they noted that Pacific salmon couldn’t access hundreds of kms of spawning streams any longer.
Salmon Saving Projects
Around the province there are various efforts in place to investigate the problem and take action on trying to reverse and bring solution to the situation.
The BC and Canadian government recently announced funding for 12 projects that are going to be geared toward addressing this problem. Those projects will be focused on helping to restore those salmon populations, going to places like UBC, SFU, The Sport Fishing Institute of BC, and others.
Canada is going to be dedicating millions to the projects which will be focused on habitat restoration and protection through innovation. According to one recent study from UBC it is estimated that as much as 85 per cent of historical salmon habitat has been lost in the Lower Mainland of the province, but there are ideas for how to fix things and possibly restore the situation.
The problem with declining salmon populations in BC and deterioration of these habitats is a concern for many people who are dedicated to fixing these issues both on the government and individual level.