B.C. Salmon Abundance ‘A Sixth’ of What It Was Half-a-Century Ago: Study

Catches of wild pacific salmon on the Fraser, Skeena and Nass Rivers are only a sixth of what they were half a century ago, according to a new study from UBC.

The lead author of the study Andrea Reid, an assistant professor with the Institute for the Ocean and Fisheries, interviewed 48 Indigenous knowledge keepers in 18 First Nations communities along the rivers to get a sense of what salmon catches were like in past decades.

“It was really devastating and beautiful at the same time,” Reid said. “I was spending much of that time moving between different communities. There were moments between interviews because all of a sudden it hits you where it’s the fourth or fifth time where you’re hearing something that’s hard to stomach. It was an incredible learning experience and privilege to get to speak with these people, but also really heavy given what has happened with salmon over the last five to seven decades.”

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