The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (CSTC) is calling for urgent and collaborative action to conserve and sustain the Fraser River Salmon.
Estimates for the sockeye salmon run did not come close to matching the reality of the situation as live counts determined that there were significantly less salmon in every run that was expected actually returned this year, according to a tribal council press release. Current management strategies practiced, independently and jointly, by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the US’s NOAA Fisheries (Pacific Salmon Commission) are failing Canadian First Nations’ fisheries, they claim.
“Meanwhile, in the Chilako River (flows into the Nechako River), we counted only four (one dead) Chinook salmon this year,” said CSTC Fisheries Manager Christina Ciesielski, in a press release.
The chinook salmon run has been poor for a number of years as a result of impacts from human activity such as industry and agriculture, but this low number is alarming.
“The salmon is our lifeblood. It is deeply entrenched in Dakelh culture in many different ways and we depend on it for our health and well-being,” said Tribal Chief Terry Teegee. “If the salmon disappears our Nation will be deeply wounded.”
With the full implementation of UN Declaration Regarding Indigenous People, at both the federal and provincial levels, it is expected that BC First Nations will be consulted and a shared decision making processes will be implemented for future work to save the Fraser River salmon fisheries, according to the Carrier Sekani.