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Dr. Brian Riddell, Minister Gail Shea, MP John Weston announce $57 Million in new funding for salmon research

Pacific Salmon Foundation president Dr. Brian Riddell (second from left) joined Minister Gail Shea (far right) and members of the federal Government for the federal funding announcement

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
May 23, 2015

 

Pacific Salmon Foundation President Commends Fisheries Minister for West Vancouver Lab Upgrades

Vancouver – Pacific Salmon Foundation President and CEO Brian Riddell today commended the Government of Canada for new investments in collaborative science partnerships that will benefit Pacific salmon. Riddell joined Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea for a federal funding announcement at the Centre for Aquaculture and Environmental Research, a federal science laboratory in West Vancouver managed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Shea announced investments from the Government totaling more than $57 million in science facilities, marine protection and Pacific Salmon research.

Riddell thanked Shea and MP John Weston (West Vancouver-Squamish-Sea to Sky Country) for advocating for the science infrastructure improvements, especially those proposed at the West Vancouver facility.

“I am delighted to see the federal government making a significant investment in infrastructure improvements at Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s West Vancouver research laboratory and I welcome the opportunity for collaborative scientific partnerships,” said Riddell. “This facility is ideally situated in a prime location on the Strait of Georgia, coupled with ready access to freshwater that allows for a range of important fisheries research activities to take place. Since the 1800’s, this site has had a history in B.C. fisheries, so it is great to see the heritage continue.”

Riddell also welcomed Shea’s commitment to support scientific partnerships and highlighted the financial leverage that partnerships produce, as well as opportunities for breakthrough findings that are important to the public. He noted that an excellent example of ongoing collaborative science is his Foundation’s work with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Genome BC to utilize genomic research to bring clarity to the persistent questions about disease in wild, hatchery and farmed salmon; an on-going issue of public debate about Pacific salmon conservation.

Riddell also acknowledged that the federal budget includes $2 million for the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Salish Sea Marine Survival Project. Riddell said Weston and MP Andrew Saxton (North Vancouver) championed the budget proposal in Ottawa along with support from Shea, Minister James Moore (Port Moody-Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam) and MP Randy Kamp (Pitt Meadows).

Riddell said the infrastructure investments announced by Shea will also benefit the Foundation’s Salish Sea Marine Survival Project through access to enhanced research lab space and access to an upgraded saltwater dock capable of serving a range of research vessels. He projected that the leverage for federal investments in the project would approach eight-to-one when cash and in-kind contributions from other partners were factored into the overall project budget.

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“For a generation, we have scratched our proverbial head in British Columbia wondering what happened to the once-thriving Coho and Chinook fisheries right outside our back door in the Strait of Georgia, a body of water that 70% of British Columbians live around,” said Riddell. “The Foundation’s Salish Sea Marine Survival Project involves 40 partner organizations, all focused on the objectives of understanding the myriad factors that may be limiting salmon abundance and implementing an achievable restoration plan for salmon fisheries in the Strait of Georgia.”

The project, while led by the Pacific Salmon Foundation, is a partnership in cooperation with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, B.C. universities and other conservation NGO’s.  Prior to the Budget 2015 announcement, 80% of the project's total $10 Million budget had been raised through donations and pledges from individual donors, philanthropic foundations, endowments and the private sector.  The Salish Sea Marine Survival Project is international in scope, including a parallel, but separately funded, program within Puget Sound managed by the Long Live the Kings organization in Seattle, WA.

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Contact: Michael Meneer, (778) 990-0464, mmeneer@psf.ca

Additional details about the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project are available here:

www.marinesurvivalproject.com

 

 

 

 

Media Contacts

For media inquiries contact:
Elayne Sun
Manager, Communications & Marketing
Esun@psf.ca
604-340 - 6940