The United States will compensate Canada to the tune of thirty million dollars and the Canadians will reduce chinook harvest off the west coast of Vancouver Island by thirty percent. The change came about as a result of the Pacific Salmon Treaty which governs the harvest of our beloved transboundary fish.
The treaty was first signed in 1985 as an attempt to preserve salmon stocks and alleviate the historic tensions over salmon harvests between the two countries. Both the United States and Canada routinely and heavily harvest salmon originating and returning to watersheds under the other nation’s jurisdiction. For example, it is estimated that 75% of the total chinook harvest off Vancouver Island’s west coast is comprised of salmon destined for U.S. waters. Some of those stocks are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
The countries also agreed to a reduction in sockeye harvest in transboundary rivers shared by Alaska and Yukon and a ceiling on Fraser River chum salmon harvest by U.S. fishermen. The treaty shall remain in place until at least 2018.
These changes should result in more salmon returning to our local rivers. Hard to argue with that.–KM