Salmon Watersheds Program

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Introduction to using environmental indicators to inform salmon management

It is now well recognized that global climate change poses a key threat to Pacific salmon and their fisheries. The impacts of global climate change are already apparent and can be seen in the changing abundance and productivity of salmon across the North Pacific. All other factors driving salmon trends are enmeshed within the physical, economic, and social factors involved in global climate change and can’t be disentangled from it. Challenges to Pacific salmon posed by global climate change will come from many quarters. Understanding where, when, and how global climate change impacts (both positive and negative) will affect Pacific salmon will vary tremendously across their North Pacific range. As a result, there is an urgent need to develop a strategic approach for future Pacific salmon management and assessment frameworks to be resilient and adaptive to environmental stressors. The Introduction to Using Environmental Indicators to Inform Salmon Management is an online workshop hosted by the Pacific Salmon Commission Secretariat, Coho Technical Committee and Committee on Scientific Cooperation. 

The workshop had three objectives:

  1. Address requirements of new Coho Annex for south of Cape Caution to be: “responsive to changes in productivity associated with environmental conditions”
  2. Share background information and perspectives on the use of environmental indicators to inform management, specifically:
    ● salmon marine distributions
    ● data sources
    ● future conditions
    ● using western science and traditional knowledge
  3. Provide three examples of using environmental indicators in salmon management:
    ● NOAA salmon stoplight chart
    ● Fraser River sockeye scorecard
    ● hypothesis testing for forecasting Salish Sea salmon