Research, policy, and governance for Fraser River salmon

An excerpt from our annual report, Tracking Raincoast into 2023.

The Fraser River Estuary supports Canada’s largest runs of Pacific salmon, along with hundreds of other species, many of which are threatened and endangered. This includes endangered killer whales and many populations of Chinook salmon. 

Despite this, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is proposing to double the size of its shipping terminal and shipping traffic at Roberts Bank, further degrading this stressed estuary. Raincoast has been working inside and outside of the federal review process to stop Terminal 2. Through our research, scientific evidence to the review panel, work with partners, and public engagement, Raincoast is bringing the message to decision makers that endangered Chinook and Southern Resident killer whales can not endure further losses of critical habitat.

This fall, we published research ​​that provides a funding landscape, or quantitative baseline, of the scale and scope of resources invested in salmon habitat restoration in the Lower Fraser region over the last decade. We did this because we knew that tens of millions of dollars were being invested in salmon habitat in the Lower Fraser, yet there was no resource or database that showed how these resources were being spent. Gaps identified in the report, which include inequitable distribution of resources, lack of coordination, and inaccessible fiscal information, will inform our efforts to advance governance and policy for salmon habitat in the Lower Fraser.

Building on our relationship with local First Nations partners and the Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance, we are working towards a multi-year research and monitoring project in a tributary of the Fraser River. This project will gather data on salmon population abundance, spawning habitat quality, and the role predators play in nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration. Our work will inform ecosystem requirements for a sustainable, terminal salmon fishery that is Indigenous-led and ecosystem-based. 

Beautiful display of design of inside pages and cover of Tracking Raincoast into 2023.

Our annual report is out now!

Get highlights from the year, our science, flagship projects, staff and volunteers, as well as a peek at what’s in store for the coming year.

Research scientist, Adam Warner conducting genetics research in our genetics lab.
Photo by Alex Harris / Raincoast Conservation Foundation.