Goldcorp’s Role in Helping Conserve Pacific Salmon

Primary tabs

Goldcorp’s Role in Helping Conserve Pacific Salmon

tweet me:
.@Goldcorp_Inc's Role in Helping Conserve Pacific Salmon
Monday, November 9, 2015 - 7:00pm

In western Canada, vibrant salmon populations have long been considered an important bellwether of the health of the surrounding ecosystem.

Their annual migrations are a miracle of nature. Every year, millions of adult salmon return from the ocean to their home streams in British Columbia, where they lay eggs and produce the next generation of fish. But far fewer salmon are making their way back to their freshwater mating grounds compared to a few decades ago, which is bad news for at least 130 species that depend on the marine-rich nutrients that wild salmon provide.

Rick Grange, Partner in West Coast Fishing Club in Haida Gwaii, located off the northwestern shores of BC, is concerned about the pronounced decline in salmon populations in the province.

“When we established the fishing lodge 25 years ago, we committed that we were going to put more fish back into the ocean than we take out,” said Grange, which prompted him to establish Haida Gwaii Salmon Unlimited Conservation and Fishing Initiatives (Unlimited) in 1999, a foundation dedicated to protecting vital fisheries and coastal habitat.

Through a timely $10,000 donation from Goldcorp to purchase much needed salmon feed, Unlimited is making new headway in refurbishing salmon stocks on the coast through the Yakoun River Fish Hatchery for the 2015 spawning season.

The Yakoun River Hatchery has been struggling financially for decades and relies heavily on volunteers. Unlimited has been topping up the hatchery’s operating deficit for years, and recently committed $100,000 over three years for hatchery stock and habitat enhancement.

“Even though the Yakoun River Hatchery is allowed to collect 250,000 eggs to raise spring salmon, there was only enough money available to collect half of that,” said Grange. “Goldcorp’s donation is particularly timely because the hatchery is now starting to turn the corner. We hope to get up to 500,000 eggs in the near future.”

Goldcorp has taken a leading role in recent years in supporting Pacific salmon conservation and enhancement programs in BC, where its head office is located. In 2012, the Company donated $1 million over three years to the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and restoration of wild Pacific salmon – the single largest corporate donation in the Foundation’s history. The donation helped support seven major salmon habitat restoration, enhancement and education projects under the Foundation’s Community Salmon Program as well as seed the Salish Sea Survival Project, a US-Canada research effort to determine the causes of poor salmon and steelhead survival in the shared waters of BC and Washington State.

Pacific salmon populations throughout the Strait of Georgia, which is part of the Salish Sea, are alarmingly 90% lower than 20 years ago. Part of Goldcorp’s funding was used to construct 20 innovative head-mounted radio frequency scanners for seals and sea lions that enable researchers to monitor consumption rates of juvenile salmon and gain a better understanding of factors affecting fish populations.

At the community level, Goldcorp’s commitment to salmon sustainability ranges from participating in the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean Up in Vancouver’s English Bay to partnering with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and PSF to improve more than 3,000 m2 of critical spawning habitat for Coho and Sockeye salmon on the Corbold Creek floodplain in the Upper Pitt River, among other important initiatives.

Chuck Jeannes, President and CEO of Goldcorp and an avid salmon fisherman, has also taken a larger personal role in supporting the Pacific Salmon Foundation. He is responsible for organizing a group of prominent business and community leaders who regularly gather to discuss fisheries issues and provide strategic advice to the PSF.

“As a resource company leader and outdoorsman, I appreciate the important economic and cultural place Pacific salmon occupy in our environment and the duty we all have to help ensure a sustainable future for this vital resource,” said Jeannes.

Click to learn more about the West Coast Fishing Club or the Pacific Salmon Foundation.

Keywords: Environment & Climate Change | Conservation | Goldcorp | Haida Gwaii Salmon Unlimited Conservation and Fishing Initiatives | Pacific Salmon | Pacific Salmon Foundation | Philanthropy | Volunteerism & Community Engagement | Water | West Coast Fishing Club | Yakoun River Hatchery