There are seven species of wild Pacific salmon managed by DFO in the Pacific region. The populations are highly prized by the fishing community and many other species in the ecosystem. Key activities for sustainably managing this valuable resource include research and monitoring of fish populations, stock enhancement through hatcheries and habitat restoration, and enforcement of laws and policies.
Current stocks of wild salmon are in decline and fleet management and catch allocations have not kept pace. Pressure to provide allocations for conservation, First Nations, commercial and recreational fisheries is very challenging. There are also suspicions of illegal fishing.
Public confidence in DFO management of wild salmon is low as tools for predicting salmon returns are not always accurate. Data on fish numbers and locations during all parts of the wild salmon’s life cycle is incomplete making recommendations for management decisions challenging. More work is needed in research and field studies to improve estimation and to build DFO’s image as a competent fish stock manager.
Better models and more staff are needed to manage the fishing season allocation in order to free up our scientists to further study the populations and improve forecasting tools.
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