British Columbia

Ottawa to close 60 per cent of commercial salmon fisheries in B.C., Yukon to conserve stocks

The federal government says it will close several commercial Pacific salmon fisheries in British Columbia and Yukon beginning this season to conserve fish stocks that are on the "verge of collapse."

Data from an international commission shows global 2020 catch was lowest since 1982

Data from the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission shows the global catch of Pacific salmon in 2020 was the lowest since 1982. (Chris Corday)

The federal government says it will close several commercial Pacific salmon fisheries in British Columbia and Yukon beginning this season to conserve fish stocks that are on the "verge of collapse."

In a news release, the Fisheries Department says 60 per cent of commercial and First Nations communal fisheries will be affected.

The department says it will transition to smaller commercial harvests, adding that will help some of the most fragile stocks.

It says the declines in fish stocks are because of a "complex combination" of factors, including climate change and habitat degradation.

The government's announcement follows plans for the distribution of nearly $650 million earmarked earlier this month for the Pacific Salmon Strategy Initiative. Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan has said the plan will guide work on conservation, better hatchery production, an overhaul of fish harvesting methods and improve the collaboration of fisheries management.

Data from the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission shows the global catch of Pacific salmon in 2020 was the lowest since 1982.

The Fisheries Department news release says fish stocks may need multiple generations to stabilize and rebuild.

Chinook salmon swim by the Whitehorse fish ladder. (Claudiane Samson/Radio-Canada)

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