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Salmon Genetic Conservation (2003)

WFT is a world leader in fish genetic conservation, and was involved in a number of projects in 2003, including the First Nations Salmon Gene Banking, Salmon Gene Banking for DFO, and the Rivers Inlet Chinook Project.

There's enormous genetic variety in salmon stocks, and all of it is important. Our ability to rebuild stocks depends on saving that variety.

When salmon numbers get low, genetic variety begins to disappear, and even if we manage to "turn around" all the other factors causing the decline, we still risk losing the stock. That's when fisheries managers turn to gene banking, a way of preserving genetic variety before it disappears, and making sure it's there for later rebuilding.

WFT’s fish genetic conservation projects include:

  • First Nations Salmon Gene Banking: training and fieldwork for the Carrier-Sekani Tribal Council, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, Shuswap Nation Fisheries Commission and the Musqueam Indian Band.
  • Salmon Gene Banking for DFO: field genetic conservation training, and management of sample inventory.
  • Rivers Inlet Chinook Project: gene banking services for a local partnership that's rebuilding Chinook stocks in Rivers Inlet, B.C. The gene bank is part of the project's captive breeding program.

With support from Fisheries Renewal BC, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Pacific Salmon Foundation, and Oak Bay Marine Group.