- Mike Grayum, Director, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission
We Are Working Internationally to Solve the Biggest Mystery Impacting Salmon Recovery and Sustainable Fisheries
The Salish Sea Marine Survival Project leverages human and financial resources from the United States and Canada to determine the primary factors affecting the survival of juvenile salmon and steelhead in the Salish Sea. It is the largest and most important research of its kind in the shared waters of British Columbia and Washington State, addressing a key uncertainty impeding salmon recovery and sustainable fisheries.
Over 40 organizations, representing diverse philosophies and encompassing most of the region’s fisheries and marine research and management complex, are working together on this massive transboundary effort. Long Live the Kings (LLTK) and project partner Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) of Canada are coordinating it: creating funding mechanisms in the US and Canada to support the needed research, managing the collaborative research activities, establishing and maintaining project communications, and helping translate the research results into management actions.
Outcomes and Benefits
The outcomes of this extensive international effort will be instrumental in informing and prioritizing management decisions to advance the recovery of salmon and steelhead, increase sustainable fishing opportunities, and improve the health of the Salish Sea.
Economic - Reestablishing coveted Chinook, coho and steelhead populations will have a tremendous economic up-side for recreational, commercial and tribal fisheries and related industries such as tourism.
Environmental- Salmon serve as a key indicator of the condition of the Salish Sea. Addressing what’s driving salmon declines in the Salish Sea will also influence challenges facing other species (i.e. killer whales) and move us toward a healthier and more productive environment for the region’s people.
Cultural - Pacific salmon are iconic: significant across ethnic and cultural lines. Their health preserves tribal treaty obligations and sustains a sense of place for the people of Washington State and British Columbia.
Funding – We Are on Our Way But Still Need Your Help!
The total budget for the five-year Salish Sea Marine Survival Project is $20 million - estimated at $10 million for the U.S. work and $10 million for the Canadian work. To date, $7.5 million has been raised in Canada and $4.25 million in the United States. Twenty per cent of the funds needed for the entire project ($2.5 million for U.S and $2.5 million for Canada) have been committed by the Pacific Salmon Commission’s Southern Endowment Committee. The intent is to fund the remainder of the program through a partnership of private/corporate donors, foundations, competitive grants, and government contributions.
Long Live the Kings is seeking at least $1.5 million pledged over five years from philanthropic, corporate and foundation donations. In Canada, the Pacific Salmon Foundation has raised ~$1 million to date in private funding, providing market validation to those considering contributions to this effort.
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