As Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, it is my pleasure to present the Wild Salmon Policy 2018-2022 Implementation Plan. This Plan does not focus on actions taken, but rather represents Canada’s plan forward and commitment over the next five years towards continuing to restore and maintain wild Pacific salmon populations and their habitats.
When Canada’s Policy for Conservation of Wild Pacific Salmon was released in 2005, it was considered a ground-breaking document developed over five years of consultations with Canadians. It put a new priority on conserving the rich biological diversity of Pacific salmon, while supporting the sustainable use of one of Canada’s cherished natural resources – wild Pacific salmon.
Thirteen years later, salmon science and conservation work has been advanced, the goals and objectives of the policy remain pertinent, and the passion of Canadians is stronger than ever. The need to focus increase on this important keystone species continues as we face changing ocean and freshwater habitat conditions, less predictable returns and declines in some stocks.
We must find ways to continue to safeguard the genetic diversity of wild salmon and maintain habitat and ecosystem integrity; this is critical to both ensuring their conservation and continuing to provide opportunities for economic benefits that Pacific salmon generates for many Canadians – including BC and Yukon First Nations, commercial and recreational fishers and many small communities. I am committed to working with the BC and Yukon governments to enhance and deepen our collaboration going forward to protect Pacific salmon and salmon habitat.
I would like to thank the hundreds of dedicated Canadians who participated in our consultations in 2016 and 2017 and who provided valuable feedback in person or in writing. Fisheries and Oceans Canada has listened to the comments and considered all the recommendations in building this Plan. My Department is fully committed to the Pacific Wild Salmon Policy, and I am confident that by working with our dedicated partners, including collaboration with the government of BC and First Nations on an integrated strategy, we will secure a brighter future for wild Pacific salmon.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada – October 11, 2018.