Sayonara Sockeye Salmon?

by deejay on November 10, 2017 - 8:16pm

On September 28, 2017, the Globe and Mail published an article which was written based on the fact that the sockeye salmon population is greatly decreasing, despite all conservation efforts currently in place. There are many involved in trying to solve the issue of decreasing sockeye population such as the federal government, the department of salmon management in British Columbia, as well as Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The major problem though is that even though conservation methods are in place, and are being adjusted accordingly in order to preserve the population, nothing at the moment is effective. Although it is also stated that incorrect conservation methods are not the only cause for the decreasing population, that climate change is also to blame. Climate change has led to warmer waters, and an increase in water temperatures has affected and altered the salmon’s food chain which has caused for a decrease in their population numbers. With this issue, the solution is for the government to try and implement a new wild salmon policy with the help of officials, consultations with First Nations and the public. As well as that although no one can control climate change and warming waters, there are efforts society, the government and those involved can do in the meantime to help improve the survival of sockeye salmon and other salmon species.

The federal government has jurisdiction over fisheries within Canada, and due to this fact, the federal government has a duty to do their best to resolve this issue. Based off of the article, it displays that the government has chosen to use a command and control type of management to conserve the population of sockeye salmon. They adjust the number of quantities of salmon that are allowed to be caught, but still keep the value at a high enough number to ensure a profit. Although based on the results of this method, the government is turning to adaptive management in order to conservation sockeye. The government has placed conservation methods to preserve sockeye salmon and are monitoring how these methods are doing. These current methods are not displaying the results the government prefer, and so now they are going back and taking suggestions from The Cohen Commission on how to better preserve populations, implementing these suggestions and are waiting for the results in order to determine what are the next steps to be taken. Although the government is focused on the results rather than learning from these methods they are implementing, a passive adaptive management approach, they are doing their best in trying to obtain results that will result in a positive change and increase the sockeye salmon population. Though while the government is waiting for the results of their conservation methods, as stated in the article that there are other efforts that can be done in order to help improve the survival of sockeye salmon. If there are other ways besides what the government has implemented to help preserve the population, why are they not being done? If society or other conservation groups can be used to do something that will be beneficial in increasing sockeye populations then why is this not an option? Having the public aware and involved can possibly increase the efforts in conservation. Though it is the federal government who has jurisdiction over fisheries, the use of public participation could possibly be beneficial. For now, we wait for things to change, and hope that the conservation methods that are in place at the moment will be able to make an impact. 


Hayward, J. (2017, September 28). Sockeye salmon run in B.C.’s Fraser River remains low while Ottawa takes action. Retrieved November 06, 2017 from