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Calls for a Canada-U.S. salmon summit are increasing in the wake of the near total collapse of the Fraser River sockeye run.
Ujjal Dosanjh, a Liberal MP whose riding lies near the north arm of the Fraser, said Thursday the situation is grave enough that it deserves to be the focus of an intergovernmental conference involving federal, state and provincial representatives.
The collapse of the Fraser run “is going to have an impact on the aboriginal community, the commercial fishery and potentially the ecosystem as well – and that's pretty significant,” said Mr. Dosanjh.
“Governments on both sides of the border [need] to come together to look at this situation and determine if there's anything we can do to ensure this doesn't continue.”
Mr. Dosanjh's remarks were made after the Department of Fisheries and Oceans confirmed only about 1.7 million sockeye are returning to the Fraser River this year. Until a few weeks ago DFO was predicting the run would number 10.6 million to 13 million, based on a strong spawning run in 2005, which produced a record number of juvenile salmon, known as smolts.