The protection and restoration of Pacific Wild salmon have been put at the forefront, thanks to a new joint project between the federal government and British Columbia.
This initiative was announced at the beginning of February by the Premier of British Columbia, the Honourable John Horgan, the B.C. Parliamentary Secretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture Fin Dolley, and the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan.
The project commits $4 million in funding over the next four years under the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund. Their goal is to help rejuvenate and restore the habitats of salmon across B.C.
One of the groups receiving funding is The Adams Lake Indian Band which is situated in South Central B.C. Cliff Arnouse has been the Chief of Adams Lake Indian Band for three years and says the fund will be very beneficial and will implement a domino effect of positivity throughout his community.
"It will change a lot, and healthier salmon means healthy community members because they'll be eating healthy salmon and that's what it's all about," Aronouse says, adding he was surprised by the amount of money they received..
"That's what we're looking for, a healthy product that people will be eating."
Tyler Collie is the B.C. Salmon and Restoration and Innovation Fund Director and saysthe restoration isa shared priority at both the provincial and federal levels. Collie has been with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans now since 2009.
According to Collie, who has been the DFO since 2009, the program is open to all Indigenous groups and all kinds of recipient groups across all the various fisheries, whether they're commercial or non-commercial ornon-profit.
About 42 groups have received funding through the BCSRIF program.
"We're very pleased to note under the first application phase, and approval phase, 33 per cent of our projects are led by Indigenous groups, and 75 per cent of our projects either have an Indigenous lead, partner, or their participation in any one of the 42 projects that we do have funded and underway," Collie says.
The 42 projects have received an investment of $71 million from the BCSRIF funding. These investments will play a favourable role for the future of B.C. fish and seafood sector and the restoration of the Pacific wild salmon.
"We have high levels of interest, across, numerous applicants, and different types of applicant groups,” says Collie. “What we've seen in terms of the volume of applications that have come in, it's been kind of remarkable.”