Submission 0060-SAUNDERS

Submitter: Howard Saunders

Community: Vancouver

Date Submitted: June 15, 2023

The scope of the inquiry should be expanded to include an investigation of open ocean survival rates. The commission should also consider that the causes of the decline of Fraser River sockeye beginning in 1992 may be different from what caused the downtown in the 1960s.

The sudden shift from improving return ratio (discussion paper Graph 1) to precipitous decline beginning in 1992 suggests a change in circumstances at that time that may be quite different from what caused the downturn in the 1960s. That might relate to some change in BC (fish farms were introduced much earlier but might have been expanded at that time) but might also relate to offshore changes such as growth of the driftnet fishery or northward expansion of the range of predator species such as mackerel.

I did not see anything in the discussion paper that might relate to factors affecting survival rates in the open ocean, except perhaps under the “climate change” rubric in the case of the mackerel example. It has been pointed out in the past that the decline in ocean survival rates is the greatest mystery around declining stocks, so that topic should be included in the scope of investigation.

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