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Author Topic: New Pacific Salmon Treaty, A Press Release  (Read 2441 times)

chris gadsden

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New Pacific Salmon Treaty, A Press Release
« on: May 22, 2008, 04:36:11 PM »

Press Release – New Bilateral Agreement         May 22, 2008

The Pacific Salmon Commission is pleased to announce that it has recommended a new bilateral agreement for the conservation and harvest sharing of Pacific salmon to the Governments of Canada and the United States The product of nearly 18 months of negotiations, the agreement represents a major step forward in science-based conservation and sustainable harvest sharing of the salmon resource between Canada and the United States of America.   If approved by the respective governments, the new fishing regimes would be in place from the beginning of 2009 through the end of 2018.

The new agreement will contribute to the long term conservation and sustainable harvest of salmon stocks originating in Canada and the United States.  It covers fisheries occurring along more than a thousand miles of coast line and inland waters ranging from central Oregon in the south to southeast Alaska to the north.  These fisheries provide the livelihood for many fishermen, are the life blood of many coastal communities, and have been integral to
the cultures of First Nations and Indian Tribes for centuries. 

The agreement is intended to ensure the conservation and fair harvest sharing of five species of salmon comprised of thousands of separate stocks that range from healthy and abundant to threatened and declining.  Coordinating the management of the fisheries among numerous management authorities spanning two countries, one province, one territory, four states, and dozens of First Nations and Indian Tribes presents one of the most complex fishery management challenges in the world.   

I think we can all be proud of this new agreement” said Dr. Jeffrey Koenings, current Chair of the Commission.  “This agreement will contribute to the massive efforts underway throughout the U.S. Pacific Northwest and Canada to restore and sustain the salmon resource, as well as bring greater stability and certainty to fisheries throughout the Treaty area,” Koenings said.

“From my position as Executive Secretary, it has been particularly gratifying to observe the Commission’s progress throughout these difficult negotiations, and to see that the Commission now functions well enough to achieve this enormous success,” said Don Kowal, Executive Secretary of the Pacific Salmon Commission.   “There was a time, prior to the 1999 Agreement, when this kind of success simply was not achievable by the Commission.  The new agreement is designed to provide for effective conservation of the resource, and to address the interests of the people affected by it,” said Kowal.

Pursuant to the terms of the Pacific Salmon Treaty, the agreement will now be transmitted to the governments of Canada and the United States of America with a recommendation for its formal approval.   The approval process in Canada will involve consultations with First Nations, and other stakeholders.  Because some of the affected salmon stocks are listed under the United States Endangered Species Act (ESA) approval by the United States is contingent on satisfying the legal requirements of that law. 

The final step in the approval process involves the exchange of diplomatic notes between Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and the United States’ Secretary of State.  The intent is that this step will be concluded prior to the end of the year.  Each country’s domestic management authorities would then implement the agreement beginning in 2009. 

For further information: 
Don Kowal, Executive Secretary, Pacific Salmon Commission; (604)684-8081



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Re: New Pacific Salmon Treaty, A Press Release
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2008, 08:59:44 AM »

Canada, U.S. agree to save salmon
Vancuver Island faces double the reduction that Alaska does
Sandra Mcculloch
Canwest News Service

Friday, May 23, 2008

VICTORIA -- A new agreement between Canada and the United States will cut the harvest of chinook salmon off the west coast of Vancouver Island by 30 per cent for a decade, starting in 2009.

The Pacific Salmon Commission announced on Thursday it has recommended a new bilateral agreement aimed at conservation and sharing of Pacific salmon between the two countries. It includes $7.5 million to be paid by both countries over five years to improve tagging management programs. The U.S. will also pay $30 million to Canada to lessen the impact of conservation measures off Vancouver Island.

The deal was struck after 18 months of negotiation, and now requires final approval of both the Canadian and U.S. governments.

The agreement in principle announced Thursday came about without the acrimony of an earlier agreement in 1999, according to Don Kowal, executive secretary of the commission.

"We did make a major step forward in that we didn't have to hire a special negotiator.... It's really a positive step forward," said Kowal.

The biggest change this time around is the section of the agreement that covers chinook salmon, which are harvested in Alaska, B.C., Washington and Oregon. Chinook are difficult to manage because of the multiple age classes in the ocean at any one time, the variety of migratory patterns and diverse life histories, said a commission backgrounder.

Some chinook stocks are healthy and productive, while others are so depressed the U.S. government has declared them to be endangered.

While the chinook fishery will be cut by 30 per cent off Vancouver Island, the fishery off Alaska faces a 15-per-cent reduction. The measures are intended to allow a million more chinook to return to hatcheries and spawning grounds in Puget Sound.

The deal received a lukewarm response from Jeffery Young, an aquatic biologist with the David Suzuki Foundation.

"I think they did some good things," Young said. "We were hoping for a better emphasis on using information in season to base fisheries decisions on, rather than deciding how many fish they're going to catch before they know how many there will be.

"It's a somewhat antiquated treaty, and they've tweaked it a bit in the right direction, but they never really updated it in a way that makes it robust for the long term."

The Sportfishing Alliance applauded the deal, saying it will stabilize the industry for the future.

"Canada and our fisheries resource will be far better off because of what has been achieved here," said alliance president Bill Otway. If approved, the new deal will be in effect from 2009 to the end of 2018.

© The Vancouver Sun 2008
another SLICE of dirty fish perhaps?