Des nouvelles du projet de recherche EPIC4 : Enhancing Production in Coho: Culture, Community, Catch.

coordoAnnonces, Communications

Voici un communiqué destiné à tous les scientifiques du domaine afin de vous faire part des avancées du projet EPIC4, projet qui utilise la génomique pour relever les défis de la gestion et de la production durable du saumon coho.

Félicitations à toute cette grande équipe pour cette belle collaboration nationale soutenue par le RAQ ces 5 dernières années et tout particulièrement à nos membres impliqué.es : Louis Bernatchez, Bérénice Bougas, Maeva Leitwein, Jean-Sébastien Moore, Éric Normandeau, Alysse Perreault-Payette, Quentin Rougemont, Amanda Xeureb.

NEW STUDY FINDS GENOMICS COULD BENEFIT SALMON CONSERVATION, PRODUCTION & MANAGEMENT 

Vancouver, B.C, March X 2021: A leading group of fisheries researchers today published Coho Genomics: Conservation, Production, Management & Communities, a new report for policymakers that outlines how genomics, the study of DNA and genes, could benefit salmon conservation, production, management and communities in British Columbia. 

The report is the culmination of five years of research, carried out by an interdisciplinary team of more than 100 people from across Canada, with international partners based in the United States and Chile. Field research was conducted across the North American range of coho salmon with a focus in British Columbia. Study sites included the Thompson River basin, the Fraser River and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation territory on Vancouver Island. 

“Applying genomic tools and technologies to salmon fisheries in British Columbia has the potential to revolutionize the way we approach salmon conservation and management,” said Ben Koop, who is project leader and a biology professor at The University of Victoria. “Not only can applying genomics benefit our wild fisheries, but it can also improve the sustainability of fish farms and increase our understanding of hatchery enhancement programs.”   

Coho salmon hold particular cultural significance for many First Nations in British Columbia and have been one of the highest-value salmon species in commercial and recreational fishing sectors. But coho salmon, also known as silver salmon or “silvers”, have been in decline for more than 50 years in Canada. For example, one of the most important coho populations in Canada, the Interior Fraser River coho salmon, has declined by more than 60 per cent since 1996 and is classified as a threatened population.  

The report is divided into eight key sections that summarize the key implications of genomic tools for fishery and hatchery management practices, the production of farmed coho, as well as outlining anticipated economic and socio-cultural impacts. The implications set out in this report provide valuable new considerations for decision-makers not just for the future of coho salmon conservation and production but, by extension, for all salmon species in Canada. Researchers hope that the findings of this report will accelerate the appropriate use of genomics to conserve and manage all of Canada’s salmon populations that face an uncertain future and believe genomic tools and technologies are the future for salmon conservation, management and production in Canada and across the world.

The main findings of this report are as follows:

  • Genomic technologies can benefit future coho salmon conservation, production and management.
  • Policymakers should maintain the use of salmon Conservation Units to protect and manage coho salmon in British Columbia.
  • Genomics technologies can provide an alternate, cheaper, and more effective method for assessing and managing Canadian-origin salmon compared to current methods used. 
  • Genomic information will improve the genetic diversity of farmed coho populations, allowing for a more efficient and sustainable aquaculture industry.
  • Genomic technologies can increase the economic value of both wild fisheries and land-based aquaculture and could be more financially viable than technologies currently in place. 
  • It is critical to engage with First Nations early and often rather than bypassing them for the application of policy or scientific tools by an external power. 

For more information please visit the EPIC4 project website 

Contact: Ben Koop, University of Victoria, bkoop@uvic.ca 

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