The provincial government is putting $75,000 into the first-ever study of Pacific salmon in the Gulf of Alaska.
The study, to be conducted by an international team of 21 scientists, will look at stock abundance, composition and condition of Pacific salmon in the region.
The team will use data from DNA samples to estimate the abundance and general health of fish in an area of ocean crucial to B.C. salmon stocks – the Alaska feeding grounds where a majority of Pacific salmon spend the winter.
Dick Beamish, the expedition organizer, said “the discoveries that will be made will lead to an understanding of how to be responsible stewards of Pacific salmon in a future of changing ocean ecosystems.”
The province’s $75,000 contribution will “assist with the data analysis and management, shipping of equipment and samples, and modifications to the research vessel for sampling equipment.”
Across the world, 2019 has been deemed the Year of the Salmon, a designation aimed at sharing and developing knolwedge of salmon in an effort to save them.
The province’s Wild Salmon Advisory Council noted in its 2018 report that wild salmon are under stress as a result of development and ecosystem changes. It reccommended urgent action to ensure the long-term survival of Pacific salmon species.