Sockeye salmon may be added to Species at Risk Act

By Greg Fry
December 5, 2017 - 12:08pm Updated: December 5, 2017 - 4:56pm

KAMLOOPS — The Shuswap Environmental Action Society calls it "the most significant ackowledgement to date of the jeopardy facing the sockeye salmon."

This as the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, an independent scientific body that advises the federal government, recommended Monday that the sockeye salmon be listed under the Species at Risk Act.

"Well or course all of us in the Shuswap and elsewhere, who really appreciate our salmon, our wild salmon, especially the sockeye salmon, should be very concerned about this news," says SEAS president Jim Cooperman. "We are waiting to find out which specific populations are proposed to be listed."

At this point, he doesn't think any local populations that come back to the Adams and the other rivers in the Shuswap, are the ones of concern.

So, what's next?

"This is just a recommendation. And if the government agrees and goes ahead and lifts this species, then there'd be measures put in place to reverse the decline in population," Cooperman says. "Everybody knows the salmon are at risk from many pressures, including global warming, the fish farms, the hatchery fish in Alaska which compete with our salmon for food. And, of course, with habitat concerns in the Interior."

He notes this latest move isn't "something you're for or against," just that it's simply "a concern."

"It's an example of what we may face in the future."

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