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Canada Ratifies Changes to the Pacific Salmon Treaty

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 07/17/14 -- The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, announced today that Canada and the United States have ratified an agreement on updates to the Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST). These changes will help ensure the long-term sustainability of Fraser River sockeye and pink salmon stocks while supporting an economically viable fishing industry on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.

Each country is responsible for managing its fisheries, but does so in a way that is consistent with the Treaty. Changes were made to Chapter 4 of the PST, which sets out the specific Canadian and American conservation and harvest sharing arrangements for Fraser River sockeye and pink salmon.

Quick Facts

--  The amended PST Chapter 4 is operational in nature and similar to
    previous years. The revisions to the newly ratified PST Chapter 4, in
    effect for the 2014 fishing season through 2019, include:
    --  the ability to consider more than four Fraser River sockeye
        management groups, which provides greater flexibility to address
        more specific conservation or harvest objectives;
    --  the maintenance of Canada's share of Fraser River sockeye and pink
    --  new language that enables Canada to raise potential issues regarding
        incidental catches of Fraser River sockeye in Alaska; and
    --  the ability to consider both the sockeye and pink salmon Total
        Allowable Catch throughout the season for best use of the fisheries
        resource. This revision helps to address concerns arising when there
        is low sockeye abundance and large pink salmon returns.
--  Canada consulted extensively with First Nations and stakeholders on the
    changes to Chapter 4. The Pacific Salmon Commission's Fraser River Panel
    was instrumental in reaching the current agreement.


"Our Government is committed to protect our Pacific salmon. That is why we invest in science, fish habitat restoration and hatcheries. These changes to the Pacific Salmon Treaty will help people on both sides of the border benefit from sustainable fishing opportunities for years to come. The agreement will continue to foster cooperation between our countries as we manage our shared Fraser River salmon stocks."

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

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Pacific salmon are migratory and, over the course of their life-cycle, salmon originating in the rivers of one country are often subject to the fisheries of another. To support conservation, a significant amount of bilateral cooperation is required. The Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST) was first signed by Canada and the U.S. in 1985 to provide the framework through which the two countries work together to conserve and manage Pacific salmon.

Each country is responsible for managing its fisheries, but does so in a way that is consistent with the Treaty. The Pacific Salmon Commission (PSC) is the body formed by the governments of Canada and the United States to implement the PST.

The PST fishing chapters contained in Annex IV are essential to the functioning of the Treaty. Chapter 4 of the PST sets out the specific Canadian and American conservation and harvest sharing arrangements for Fraser River sockeye and pink salmon.

The implementation and management of the PST Chapter 4 falls under the responsibility of the PSC's Fraser River Panel. The Panel, in turn, recommends a management plan to the PSC that is based on abundance, timing and migration route forecasts, and escapement targets for Fraser River sockeye and pink salmon; international catch allocation goals; domestic catch allocation goals; management concerns for other stocks and species; and historic patterns in migration and fisheries dynamics.

The renewed Chapter 4 provisions are in effect for the 2014 fishing season and are set to expire on December 31, 2019.

In 2008, the other PST chapters in Annex IV were renewed and ratified. They remain in effect until 2018:

Chapter 1: Transboundary Rivers (all species);

Chapter 2: Northern Boundary (sockeye, pink and chum);

Chapter 3: Chinook (coast-wide);

Chapter 5: Coho (Southern B.C., Washington and Oregon); and

Chapter 6: Chum (Southern B.C. and Washington).

Sophie Doucet
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Frank Stanek
Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Ottawa, Ontario

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