FILE – Terry Beech, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport in Prince Rupert. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View)

Ottawa announces ‘unprecedented action’ to protect Fraser River chinook

The measures were also taken to protect the southern resident orcas, whose numbers are now at 72

Expanded fishing closures and size restrictions were announced Friday as part of new actions by the federal government to protect threatened Fraser River chinook salmon populations.

Terry Beech, parliamentary secretary to the fisheries minister, said much of the waters near the mouth of the Fraser River will be closed to chinook fishing and any chinook longer than 80 centimetres must be released. The measures are aimed at rebuilding stocks facing steep declines, Beech said.

Chinook salmon, a traditional food source and ceremonial fish for Indigenous Peoples, are prized by anglers for their size and strength and are a lucrative catch for the commercial fishery. They are also the favoured food of endangered southern resident killer whales.

“The stocks are facing major stresses and historic lows in their populations and that causes us to take unprecedented action,” Beech said in an interview on Friday. “In the short-term, these decisions get harder the longer we put these tough decisions off.”

Fisheries and Oceans Canada acted last year to protect Fraser River chinook stocks, that included efforts to clear a massive landslide in the river, which further threatened the species.

The measures were also taken to protect the southern resident orcas, whose numbers are now at 72.

Beech said of the 13 Fraser River chinook populations, 12 are considered to be at risk. The protection measures are aimed to ensure as many chinook get to their spawning areas as possible, he said.

Beech said limiting catch size to 80 centimetres will protect populations because the majority of the larger chinook are females.

He said the latest chinook protection measures were developed following consultation with Indigenous communities, recreational and commercial fishing organizations and environmental groups.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

chinook

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Horgan makes campaign stop in Terrace and Kitimat

BC NDP leader met with local First Nations leaders, reiterated campaign promises

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

‘Monkey Beach’ supernatural film adaptation premiers at VIFF

Based on Kitamaat author Eden Robinson’s debut, mystical novel

COVID-19 cases grow to 13 at B.C. First Nation near Fort St. James

“This is very serious,” says Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief

“He’s just meant to be here”: Kitimat child has wish granted by Make-A-Wish Canada

Levi Gardiner received a wheelchair-friendly travel trailer so he can go camping with his family

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Most Read