Fraser River Pink
Volume of 118 metric tons is the average catch volume from 1996-2012 for fishing area 29. Data from Fisheries and Oceans Canada preliminary summary commercial statistics.
The British Columbia (BC) pink salmon fishery underwent pre-assessment in April 2001, received MSC certification in July 2011, and has completed surveillance audits in 2012 and 2013. The fishery consists of three certification units: North Coast and Central Coast (NCCC), Inner South Coast (ISC), and Fraser River. Fishing takes place July through August within the Canadian Pacific Exclusive Economic Zone and the coastal waters of British Columbia, with about 25% of the commercial harvest being caught by trollers, 25% by gill nets, and 50% by purse seines. The Fraser pink salmon fisheries occur only during odd-numbered years. The harvest is mostly processed at BC coastal ports and sold worldwide. The fisheries are managed by Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), and the client is the Canadian Pacific Sustainability Fisheries Society, a group of salmon harvesting and processing companies.
Over the last decade, DFO has invested effort into improving the processes and tools used for fisheries management. Canada’s Policy for the Conservation of Wild Pacific Salmon (also known as the Wild Salmon Policy or WSP) was published in 2005 with an overarching goal of restoring and maintaining healthy, diverse salmon populations and habitats. However, recent reductions in resources have degraded DFO’s ability to monitor salmon stocks and collect the data needed to implement these improvements. For example, in the Canadian management system, stocks are termed conservation units (CUs), where each CU includes salmon with similar ecological, life history, and genetic characteristics. A particular challenge has been the establishment of lower and upper benchmarks that are used to guide harvest levels for each CU. To maintain certification, it is critical for this fishery to improve catch monitoring for both target and non-target species, and to use the obtained catch data to set benchmarks.
Canadian Pacific Sustainability Fisheries Society (fishery client), DFO, David Suzuki Foundation, Watershed Watch Salmon Society, Skeena Wild Conservation Trust, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Ocean Fisheries Ltd, Nisga’a Nation, Haisla Nation, Fred and Linda Hawkshaw, BC Ministry of Agriculture, BC Ministry of Environment, Canadian Fishing Company
The third annual surveillance site visit is tentatively scheduled for October 2014.
The audit team conducted the second annual surveillance site visit on October 7-11, 2013, and published the surveillance report in January 2014. For the Fraser Unit of Certification, 8 conditions were closed and 6 remained open and behind schedule.
The audit team conducted the first annual audit site visit in British Columbia in May 2012. At the close of this audit, no conditions had been closed (completed) and 14 remained open and on track.