Toward a vision for wild salmon in the Lower Fraser

An artistic rendering of a vision of the Fraser River estuary.

Art by Carrielynn Victor.

In parallel to our research and habitat restoration efforts, we have been working with our project partners to articulate a vision for wild salmon in the Lower Fraser River. Our new report identifies the ongoing erosion of salmon habitat caused by a governance system that prioritizes the conversion of salmon habitat into goods and services at a cost to an irreplaceable cultural, economic, and ecological asset – wild salmon. The report identifies the failure of siloed governance bodies with incompatible land use objectives as a systemic cause of the salmon crisis. 

Following visioning workshops and meetings with close to 100 individuals, including members of the Kwantlen, Kwikwetlem, Shxwhá:y Village, Stó:lō, Sts’ailes, Tsawwassen, Tsleil-Waututh, Tzeachten, Kwakwa’apilt, and Yale Nations, the report reflects how a range of organizations and individuals envision a future for the Lower Fraser River that can put salmon, and their habitat, on a trajectory that enables their resilience.

Collectively, these groups identified bold aspirations focused around a number of key themes including education, fish friendly policy, rebuilding of research and monitoring capacity, and education. An overarching theme was the need for engagement of Indigenous Nations and people. Our recommendations to all levels of government, funding agencies, and all those with an interest in wild salmon, are as follows:

  1. Ecological governance and regional planning that honours Aboriginal rights and title and the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), 
  2. Collaborative habitat conservation and restoration,
  3. Formation of a watershed plan for the entire Fraser River,
  4. Sustainable funding mechanisms,
  5. Rebuilding monitoring and research capacity,
  6. Implementation of fish first policy, 
  7. Investment in wild salmon education.

Throughout 2020, we will be working to support the uptake of these recommendations with our broad range of partners. A key component will be our support for the development and successful implementation of a Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance led fish habitat strategy.

Read the rest of our annual report.

An artistic rendering of a vision of the Fraser River estuary.
Art by Carrielynn Victor.
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