Government of Canada and Province of British Columbia invest in salmon and habitat research and aquaculture science

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VANCOUVER, BC, Aug. 13, 2021 /CNW/ – Healthy ecosystems promote healthy wild fish stocks, stimulate the economy, and preserve the social fabric of BC’s coastal communities, and Indigenous cultures and livelihoods. Supporting British Columbia’s fish and seafood sector is a priority for both the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia (BC).

Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, and the BC Parliamentary Secretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Fin Donnelly, announced $10.23 million in funding for 12 projects under the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund (BCSRIF).

The following projects have received BCSRIF funding:

  • The University of British Columbia will monitor the lipid content of Fraser River-bound Chinook at Albion.
  • Under a separate agreement, the University of British Columbia will develop a cumulative effects modelling framework for the recovery of aquatic salmonid populations.
  • The Secwepemc Fisheries Commission, on behalf of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council Society, will carry out a freshwater research and restoration initiative in the Thompson River watershed.
  • The Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance will carry out First Nations-led catch monitoring to assist in sustainable mixed stock fisheries management on the Central Coast.
  • The Seymour Salmonid Society will carry out infrastructure renewal work on their hatchery.
  • Simon Fraser University will study the impact of landslides on the flow dynamics, migration and genetics of Fraser River salmon.
  • The Sunshine Coast Salmonid Society will conduct water supply and capacity upgrades to the Chapman Creek Hatchery.
  • The Nanaimo River Stewardship Society will carry out upgrades to its hatchery to improve performance, assessment, and monitoring capabilities.
  • The Cascadia Seaweed Corporation will assess the possibility of coastal kelp farms to serve as novel habitat for migrating salmonids and their prey.
  • Nova Harvest will receive funding to improve the capacity of the West Coast oyster industry.
  • The Sport Fishing Institute of BC will continue the next phase of its Vision for the recreational fishing industry in BC.
  • The T Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation will use the funding it receives to enhance the sustainability of the province’s fisheries.

Funding under the BCSRIF program has now been awarded to 60 projects since its inception in 2019, and represents an investment of more than $85 million for the future of wild Pacific salmon and the BC fish and seafood sector. As a cost-shared program between the federal and BC governments, applications are assessed jointly by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Province of British Columbia against a variety of criteria and must receive joint approval to proceed. These latest investments will benefit BC’s fish and seafood sector by ensuring it can continue to offer stable employment to thousands of Canadians. By supporting projects that build environmental and economic resilience, BCSRIF is also contributing to our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the next five years, Canada is contributing an additional $100 million to support projects focused on habitat protection and restoration, including the maintenance of healthy and diverse salmon populations and other BC fish stock Applicants will be encouraged to submit applications when DFO and BC launch the next application phase.

BCSRIF funding is open to Indigenous communities, industry associations, environmental non-governmental organizations, commercial enterprises, and academic institutions. Investments through this program will help recover salmon habitat, benefit commercial and recreational fishing and aquaculture, as well as support science and research initiatives. Further information on the application process, timelines and program criteria are available on the BCSRIF website:


“Through the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund, we’re investing in hard working, innovative Canadians who want to protect our environment and grow a more sustainable Blue Economy. The projects we’re supporting will create good jobs on the west coast, and ensure that we continue to produce the world-class seafood that Canada is known for.” 

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard

“I continue to be impressed with the innovation and commitment demonstrated by British Columbians. Their efforts in addressing the challenges facing Pacific salmon here on the West Coast and in advancing the science of aquaculture all signal a bright future for Canada’s Blue Economy.”

Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, and Member of Parliament for Burnaby North—Seymour

“These projects show the commitment of First Nations, the not-for-profit community, researchers and all British Columbians to restore our wild salmon populations and the resilient ecosystems they, and so many other species, need to survive. As we all witness the harsh realities of a changing climate in B.C. this summer, the people contributing to this work bring hope through their energy, dedication and expertise and show what we can accomplish by working together.”

Fin Donnelly, Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Government of British Columbia

Quick Facts

  • Launched in March 2019, the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund 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.
  • Additional information on projects selected for BCSRIF can be found online here.
  • The BCSRIF is a 70 per cent federal, 30 per cent provincial cost-shared program.
  • The Government of Canada is investing $200M over seven years for the BCSRIF, as well as a one-time investment of $5M for the Pacific Salmon Endowment Fund.
  • The Government of British Columbia’s current investment is $42.85M over five years.
  • BCSRIF funding is 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.

Associated Links

  • British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund
  • Canadian Fish and Seafood Opportunities Fund


Twelve applications have received approval for funding under the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund (BCSRIF), totaling approximately $10.23 million.

  1. The University of British Columbia will receive $36,870 to allow researchers to undertake measurements of Albion Test fishery Chinook salmon lipid (fat) content to better understand how this affects the ability of these salmon to reach their spawning grounds, and improve our understanding of how ocean conditions impact Chinook salmon health.
  2. The University of British Columbia will receive $253,610 to develop a framework for modeling the cumulative impacts on salmonid populations to guide recovery planning and adaptive management based on stressor-response functions related to multiple threats.
  3. On behalf of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council Society, the Secwepemc Fisheries Commission will receive $789,102 to gather data concerning Fraser River Coho, Interior Fraser River Summer Steelhead, and Southern BC Chinook populations that will inform fisheries recovery and rebuilding plans for the species. Data on habitat use, stream flow and temperature data, and other factors affecting survivability will be assessed over the next three years, to help guide the development of effective recovery strategies for salmon in BC’s southern interior.
  4. The Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance will apply its $1.53 million in BCSRIF funding over the next three years to design and implement a coordinated strategy to fill data gaps on Central Coast salmon populations, ultimately helping to inform management measures that will promote sustainable opportunities for marine and food, social, and ceremonial fisheries for First Nations harvesters.
  5. The Seymour Salmonid Society will receive $80,410 to conduct maintenance and facility upgrades to its hatchery over the next three years, including a new feed storage container, sewage storage tank, perimeter fencing, and outdoor pond roof structure to ensure the hatchery and education centre can continue to support the restoration and conservation of the salmonid populations in the Seymour watershed.
  6. Simon Fraser University will receive $3.56 million to investigate the risks posed by natural earth surface processes on Fraser River salmon, such as landslides and hydraulic barriers. With its partners, the University will use innovative technologies to measure and monitor earth surface processes and frontline techniques in molecular genomics. The work will improve understanding of the infrastructure needed to allow successful fish migration across hydraulic barriers like the Big Bar landslide.
  7. The Sunshine Coast Salmonid Society will receive $70,000 to identify an alternative water source for the Chapman Creek Hatchery to address extremely low flows in the creek during the summer months. Two test wells planned to be dug this year will serve as production and emergency wells to support the rearing of Coho salmon at the hatchery.
  8. The Nanaimo River Stewardship Society will apply its $1 million in BCSRIF funding to upgrade the Nanaimo River Hatchery to address ageing infrastructure, and allow the facility to adapt to changing enhancement objectives and watershed activities. Key elements of the work include rebuilding the aeration tower, replacing aged incubation trays and boxes, and optimizing the water supply to improve biosecurity and fish marking options. Upgrades to the stewardship building will also allow the organization to maximize public and institutional education opportunities.
  9. Cascadia Seaweed Corporation and its partners will apply the $1.9 million received to research how coastal kelp farms may provide habitat for migrating Pacific salmonids and their food sources by integrating traditional and cutting-edge monitoring technologies.
  10. Nova Harvest will receive $210,000 to increase the capacity for large high-quality seed by developing an ocean-based oyster nursery, known as a Floating Upwelling System. The project, aims to reduce risk to Canadian oyster farmers, improve sustainable local shellfish production, increase industry and job opportunities in remote coastal communities, and enhance local food security by reducing reliance on imported seed stock.
  11. The Sport Fishing Institute of BC will receive $453,324 to build on previous efforts to further the implementation of the Sport Fishing Advisory Board’s vision for the recreational fishing sector in the province. This phase of the project, planned for completion in two years, will focus on modernizing the Board’s model to ensure that the interests of the recreational fishery are represented to regulators and decision makers.
  12. The T Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation will receive $320,700 to enhance the sustainability of BC’s fisheries using innovative technologies. Over the next two years, the Foundation will test the effectiveness of LED light usage in the shrimp trawl fishery and use knotless nets in the salmon and herring seine test fishery to reduce bycatch, increase the survivability of bycatch species, and prevent entanglements.

Projects eligible for BCSRIF funding must have an emphasis on one or more of the following three areas:

  • Innovation – to encourage the development of new technologies to increase productivity and help meet conservation and sustainability objectives, including the protection and restoration of wild BC stocks, including Pacific salmon;
  • Infrastructure – to encourage capital investments in new products, processes or technologies to support the advancement of sustainable fishing practices and to support the protection and restoration of wild BC stocks, including Pacific salmon; and
  • Science partnerships – to support collaborations with academia and other research institutions to improve our knowledge and understanding of impacts to wild stocks and to develop sustainable fishing practices.

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SOURCE Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region

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