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Sockeye salmon

Sockeye salmon run in B.C. remains low while federal government amps up response 

VANCOUVER -The federal government says it’s implemented most recommendations from a 2012 report aimed at revitalizing the salmon run in B.C. but the outlook for the species remains murky.

The Cohen commission investigated the decline of sockeye salmon in the Fraser River and made 75 recommendations in 2009.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada says 64 recommendations have been acted on.

Yet officials say only 1.5 million salmon have returned to the Fraser River to date, well below the 4.4 million forecasted for this year’s stock.

Jennifer Nener, director of the department’s salmon management, says warmer temperatures in the Pacific Ocean may be largely to blame for the poor salmon returns this year.

She says the government has been conservative in the number of fish that can be caught in response to the low returns, but only time will tell if the federal government’s efforts will restore salmon stocks in the long term.

Plans to implement a new wild salmon policy are also in the works and officials say consultations with First Nations and the public are expected to take place this fall.

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