bc-100825-sockeye-dock

Sockeye await process on the Steveston docks in Richmond, B.C. ((CBC))

A federal inquiry into the state of B.C.'s wild salmon stocks is scheduled to open in Vancouver on Monday.

Justice Bruce Cohen will hear from 21 stakeholders, including officials from the federal Department of Fisheries, commercial fishermen, First Nations leaders and conservationists.

So far the Cohen Commission has held 10 public forums in communities along the Fraser River, and visited fish farms, a cannery, First Nations fishing grounds and sockeye spawning beds.

A flotilla of activists opposed to open-net fish farming arrived in Vancouver on Sunday, after paddling down the Fraser River to show their support for the commission.

The federal government appointed Cohen to hold the inquiry after the Fraser River sockeye salmon stocks appeared to collapse in recent years. But in 2010 more than 34 million sockeye returned to the river in one of the largest runs in 100 years.