Members of the First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance in BC have written to federal Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo, requesting an urgent meeting to discuss plunging salmon returns in the province’s rivers.
The alliance’s Chief Bob Chamberlin says six million sockeye salmon were forecast for the Fraser River this year, but only two million fish arrived, while 14 million pink salmon were expected, but barely one-third showed up.
The collection of BC First Nations that work to protect wild Pacific salmon stocks says the decline comes as the provincial government approves an increase of fish farms ahead of siting criterion that look at incoming and outgoing salmon routes.
Chamberlin says Tootoo must take immediate action, including a moratorium on all salmon aquaculture ventures on the West Coast.
He adds that the Cohen report was critical of the DFO and the aquaculture industry and being too close.
Chamberlin says wild salmon is important to all British Columbians, but especially so for First Nations as many communities are dependent on the salmon run for food survival.