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Location: Fraser River Basin, Basin Wide
The 2010/11 proposal seeks funding to continue this work “To build a river community”. Specifically to engage a greater formal collaboration with the 4 key constituent interests, fishery managers involved in planning (inland fishery, demonstration fisheries in particular &approach;fisheries). The work plan will pay specific attention to the capacity needs of each of the constituent interests to be effectively informed, and as desirable, able to work together to address the changes in the fishery.
The 2010/11 work plan will pay specific attention to the capacity needs of each of the constituent interests to work together to address the changes in the fishery, and to forge a stronger working relationships with DFO in Fisheries Reform in the Fraser River. The Salmon Table is seeking funding to develop specific plans to help the constituent interests get along on the river and share the resource, built upon a strong stewardship ethic. Among First Nations in particular, work will continue on “River to Plate” focusing on coordinating fishing plans among First Nations that protect FSC and conservation values; advance the traceability/monitoring collaborations that involve regulators and include further refinements on the “Virtual Warehouse”. As well the work will provide mentoring support for share-based fishery planning and business collaborations (First Nations and industry) that will help organize business networking required for sustainable salmon economic opportunities in-river and linked to marine fisheries plans in the future. A new programming component will focus more effort on planning with the sport fishery to work with First Nations and regulators to address salmon fishery changes associated with Pacific Fisheries Reform in-river. Programming will also continue work to develop an investment strategy for funds dedicated to Cultus sockeye recovery that may include broader funding partnerships and project investments in pike minnow removals, organizing a working group to address nutrient loading in Cultus Lake and testing new and innovative milfoil removal techniques.
The FRST has developed into a registered society, so now it has bi-monthly meetings of its executive, and quarterly general meetings of the Board, followed the next day by an open meeting for all interested parties to attend. Fiscal matters are now in order with an operational account and an investment account for granting funds arising from the 2006 Cultus recovery fund. The Salmon Table shares a home with Fenn Lodge at Harrison Mills with the Dutch Pacific Salmon Society, and has revolutionized cross-interest collaborations in the Pacific Salmon fishery.
1. Education and engagement of First Nations: The FRST actively invites and encourages First Nations (FN) participation both on the board and in the open meetings, use FN facilities throughout the watershed whenever possible, and seeks advance permission from FN leaders prior to gathering in their territory. The FRST works closely with the Sto:lo in the delivery of Cultus Lake restoration programming. The Fraser Valley Aboriginal Fisheries Society (FVAFS) has taken on the role of lead for the Cultus Lake recovery initiative-related First Nations training project. This will include involvement in all aspects of the recovery work and will address a myriad of small but essential aspects of the work. The FRST has also worked closely with First Nations involved in “Demonstration” fishery projects designed to experiment with new in-river commercial fisheries (see integrated planning and governance below) and has sponsored the evolving First Nations strategy for in-river commercial fisheries called “River to Plate” (see below). The work with the Intertribal First Nations Treaty (ITFT) process has evolved to supporting these active processes and reporting out to the ITFT forums. From this contribution, the political ITFT “Working Committee” will be informed and in a better position to facilitate negotiations among their members and with other sectors and make decisions intended to be transparent and accountable.
2. Integrated planning and governance: A fundamental aspect and value of the FRST Society embody principles of integration, interdependence, and shared responsibility for governance. It is woven into all of FRST activities, and included in the FRST’s vision and mission statements (Attached). Importantly, the FRST has assisted First Nations to work together and with other interests to plan fisheries in the watershed. The completed plans were submitted by the First Nations to the Integrated Harvest Planning Committee (IHPC). The “Best Practices Forums” have provided a singularly unique forum for the leading First Nations to firstly develop fishing plans that target forecasted TAC while protecting conservation and FSC values, then to collaborate on share-based fisheries to navigate the regulatory labyrinth with various regulatory agencies for landing, transport, and marketing, and perhaps most significantly, to conduct pre-season and post-season review of their plans with regulators and other interests. Please see the report, “River to Plate: A First Nations Program Vision for Sustainable Economic Opportunities in Fraser River Salmon Fisheries” (Attached).
3. Habitat & water restoration and stewardship: Cultus Lake sockeye restoration fund administered in cooperation with the Sto:lo Tribal Council and the CSAB supported (2009) a project that commissioned a commercial seiner for Pike-minnow removal and co-sponsored a pikeminnow sport fishing derby. In 2008 the FRST also seed funded a study to examine a recovery feasibility study for sockeye in Takla Lake (a stock of early Stuart sockeye).
4. Improved information and approaches for sustainable integrated fisheries management: The FRST has participated in the Integrated Salmon Dialogue Forum and co-sponsored a Monitoring and Compliance Panel workshop in the lower Fraser River in 2009 that looked a the chum economic fishery and its interface with the area’s sport fishery. The field tour and open-space dialogue involved a cross section of area First Nations, sport and commercial fishing interests (Marine and in-river), and conservation groups who focused on traceability, incentives and disincentives to fishers for compliance, the effectiveness of current monitoring programs, and collaborative efforts for the future that could lead to more sustainable and integrated fisheries management.
Objective #1 Build a River Community:
1. Building a River Community:
By building synergistic relationships among all parties affected by decisions that are made regarding the Fraser River salmon fishery; this is key to success in the watershed. Equally important is the necessity for fisheries representatives from all sectors to be working interdependently on projects of common interest and concern. In other words, appropriate collaborative processes exist, or can be created, to advance all activities that form the backbone of the work to create sustainable and prosperous salmon management plans.
We actively invite and encourage FN participation both on the Board and in the open meetings, use FN facilities throughout the watershed whenever possible, and seek advance permission from FN leaders prior to gathering in their territory.
Our work in the Cultus basin has been instrumental in the recovery of this stock. Much work remains to be done and the unfettered addition of nutrients ranks high.
Although still a new organization, the Salmon Table has seen remarkable capacity building with regard to individual Directors as well as between directors. We have also been able to play a role in mentoring demonstration project leaders with regard to industry standards and requirements. Although we help to represent FN people (generally underrepresented in these events) we have also seem our efforts prove positive in the sports community which ahs traditionally been under represented in forums like this. Finally we hope to continue to influence policy and decision making with regulators much as we were able to accomplish on the 2006 harvest rate to Cultus sockeye.