Vancouver, British Columbia – The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, announced (Thursday) that Canada and the United States have ratified an agreement on updates to the Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST). These changes will help ensure the long-term sustainability of Fraser River sockeye and pink salmon stocks while supporting an economically viable fishing industry on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.
Each country is responsible for managing its fisheries, but does so in a way that is consistent with the Treaty. Changes were made to Chapter 4 of the PST, which sets out the specific Canadian and American conservation and harvest sharing arrangements for Fraser River sockeye and pink salmon.
- The amended PST Chapter 4 is operational in nature and similar to previous years. The revisions to the newly ratified PST Chapter 4, in effect for the 2014 fishing season through 2019, include:
- the ability to consider more than four Fraser River sockeye management groups, which provides greater flexibility to address more specific conservation or harvest objectives;
- the maintenance of Canada’s share of Fraser River sockeye and pink salmon;
- new language that enables Canada to raise potential issues regarding incidental catches of Fraser River sockeye in Alaska; and
- the ability to consider both the sockeye and pink salmon Total Allowable Catch throughout the season for best use of the fisheries resource. This revision helps to address concerns arising when there is low sockeye abundance and large pink salmon returns.
- Canada consulted extensively with First Nations and stakeholders on the changes to Chapter 4. The Pacific Salmon Commission’s Fraser River Panel was instrumental in reaching the current agreement.
“Our Government is committed to protect our Pacific salmon. That is why we invest in science, fish habitat restoration and hatcheries. These changes to the Pacific Salmon Treaty will help people on both sides of the border benefit from sustainable fishing opportunities for years to come. The agreement will continue to foster cooperation between our countries as we manage our shared Fraser River salmon stocks.” ~ The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.