Canada's Wild Salmon Policy: an Assessment of Conservation Progress

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Graduate student (PhD)
Final version published as: 

Price, M.H.H., English, K.K., Rosenberger, A.G.G., MacDuffee, M., and Reynolds, J.D. 2017. Canada’s Wild Salmon Policy: An Assessment of Conservation Progress in British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 74: 1507–1518.

Date created: 
Fisheries management
Conservation status
Stock assessment
Population recovery

Canada’s Policy for Conservation of Wild Pacific Salmon has been heralded as a transformative approach to the management of wild salmon whereby conservation is the highest priority. Given that changes to the Policy are under consideration, it is timely that we understand whether our state of knowledge and the status of wild salmon in Canada have indeed improved after its adoption in 2005. To answer these questions, we used two indices of improvement: (i) monitoring effort and (ii) abundance of spawning adults. Our results, based on data for all species from British Columbia’s north and central coasts, show that monitoring effort has continued to erode, abundance of spawning adults has significantly declined for several species, the status of many salmon Conservation Units are in zones of concern, and 42% of the Conservation Units that we assessed as Red (threatened) would have improved in status had the Canadian fishery been reduced. We conclude with recommendations to help improve our knowledge of the status of salmon and enable a robust and successfully implemented Wild Salmon Policy for the future.

Document type: 
Rights remain with the authors.
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
Pacific Salmon Foundation
BC Leading Edge Endowment Fund