Thursday January 4, 2024

Cosmos Magazine

In a groundbreaking collaboration among Canadian First Nations, government bodies, academic institutions, and conservation organizations, a pioneering tool known as “Salmon Vision” is emerging as a “game-changer” in the monitoring of salmon populations.

Fisheries in British Columbia have grappled with data scarcity for decades, which forces managers to base harvest numbers on early-season catch data rather than the actual salmon return figures. Moreover, shifting weather patterns, stream flows, and ocean conditions introduce greater variability in salmon returns, compounding the existing risks of overfishing already-vulnerable populations.

It’s a global problem facing fish monitoring everywhere, so the Canadian innovation is valuable.

“Without real-time data on salmon returns, it’s extremely difficult to build climate-smart, responsive fisheries,” says Dr Will Atlas, the Senior Watershed Scientist with the Wild Salmon Center and lead author of the new study in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

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