Researchers to Study Threats Affecting Salmon in B.C. Watersheds

Image: British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund.

Researchers with the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., and the University of Montana have received $1.25 million through the joint British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund to study combined impacts of industry and other factors on salmon.

Funds were provided by the federal and provincial governments, plus an additional donation came from the Sitka Foundation, a Vancouver, BC-based conservation non-profit.

The funding was announced by Simon Fraser University on Dec. 15.

In addition to research and recommending policies, building social networks and sharing promising success stories is a key objective of the initiative.

The research team said it hopes to achieve its goal through events that bring together a diverse group of leaders, managers, technicians and sciences to share ideas and learn from each other.

Jonathan Moore, project lead for the Watershed Futures Initiative, said there’s an urgent need to improve both the science and management of cumulative impacts in B.C. to prevent the demise of salmon from impacts of logging, mining, urban development, agriculture, climate change and more on salmon.

“It is a large and multi-pronged problem, and we are hoping that this initiative can help contribute to positive steps forward, he said.

Project co-lead Tara Martin of the University of British Columbia said effective stewardship of salmon ecosystems entails integrating the best science on cumulative effects with priority management actions and good governance to ensure actions are implemented in a timely and cost-effective manner.