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Fraser River Salmon Talk with Brian Riddell

February 15, 2017

“What is Going on with Fraser River Salmon? – A Conversation with Dr. Brian Riddell from the Pacific Salmon Foundation”
“Fraser River Discovery Centre launches new Fraser River Dialogues series March 7th, 2017”

New Westminster, B.C. – The Fraser River Discovery Centre (FRDC) will launch its new Fraser River Dialogues series on March 7th with a topic of critical importance to just about everyone – the future of Fraser River salmon. This inaugural event will feature a conversation with Dr. Brian Riddell, President and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation.

“The Fraser River remains the largest salmon river in North America, but many of the salmon species are in serious decline and no one understands exactly why,” said Stephen Bruyneel, FRDC Executive Director. “We are proud to have Dr. Riddell come and talk about the situation, including what his Foundation is doing about it through their Salish Sea Marine Survival Project (SSMSP).”

Dr. Riddell is an internationally recognized expert on wild Pacific salmon. His Foundation is the only independent, non-governmental organization dedicated to creating a sustainable future for wild Pacific salmon and their habitat. Among numerous professional distinctions, Dr. Riddell serves as a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s Expert Panel on Ocean Climate Change and Marine Biodiversity. He is also an appointed Canadian Commissioner to the Pacific Salmon Commission, the body formed by the governments of Canada and the United States to implement the Pacific Salmon Treaty.
“Wild Pacific salmon are critically important to the Fraser River and the province as a whole from an economic, environmental and socio-cultural perspective,” said Dr. Riddell. “So the challenges they are facing affect all of us in one way or another. That’s why Fraser River salmon are a significant focus of the SSMSP – we need to find out what is happening to them and what we can do to fix the problems. I look forward to sharing my perspectives and what we have learned so far during the inaugural Fraser River Dialogue.”

The Salish Sea Marine Survival Project is the largest study to-date with a goal to understand what is limiting salmon production in B.C.’s local seas and to restore once-thriving fisheries for coho and Chinook salmon in the Strait of Georgia. These fisheries declined dramatically in the mid 1990’s and little has been done in a coordinated fashion to understand why they went away, let alone to try and restore them. Their loss resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue annually. 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.

The FRDC has launched the Dialogues as a way to engage interested parties on Fraser River issues and opportunities:

  • from a fact-based, triple-bottom line perspective that is apolitical and non-ideological;
  • through an approach to dialogue that is open and positive; and
  • in an environment that is respectful and safe for all questions, comments and opinions.

The Dialogues will use a “fire-side” chat format, rather than the traditional “power point” presentation. The FRDC Executive Director will have a conversation with the invited guests, who will be able to speak on the topic from an environmental, social and/or economic perspective. That will be followed by a facilitated Q&A with the audience.

“By taking this approach, we hope to create a positive engagement experience for all those in the room,” added Mr. Bruyneel. “And, by doing so, we can increase understanding of the Fraser River and how it is being impacted by the subjects that are being discussed.” This first Fraser River Dialogue featuring a conversation with Dr. Riddell is graciously sponsored by the Pacific Salmon Foundation. It will occur March 7th, 2017 at the FRDC, which is located on New Westminster’s waterfront. A limited number of tickets are available for the event, with options including a pre-event reception from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm ($75, which also includes a reserved ticket at the fireside chat) and the fireside chat itself from 7:30 pm – 9 pm ($50). A charitable tax receipt can be issued on request.

To purchase tickets to this event, go to http://tinyurl.com/fraserriverdialogues or call 604-521-8401. More information on the Fraser River Dialogue series can be found at http://www.fraserriverdiscovery.org/Dialogues.

The Fraser River Discovery Centre Society operates the Fraser River Discovery Centre. Through interactive exhibits and engaging programming, the Discovery Centre showcases the Fraser River’s role in shaping BC’s ecological, cultural and economic diversity. Its mission is to present the stories of the Fraser River and their contribution to the life, history and future of British Columbia with the vision of connecting communities in discovery and celebration of the living, working Fraser River. The Discovery Centre is open Wednesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm. Admission to the exhibit galleries is by donation.



For further information contact:

Fraser River Discovery Centre Stephen Bruyneel, Executive Director
T: 604.521.8401 x 102
C: 604.842.1971

Media Contacts

For media inquiries contact:
Pacific Salmon Foundation 
Elayne Sun 
Manager, Communications and Marketing