Learn about genetic risks of hatchery enhancement for Pacific salmon

Comox Valley Nature is pleased to host a free online lecture by Dr. Carrie Holt. The lecture entitled “Genetic risks of hatchery enhancement for Pacific salmon.” is on Sunday February 21, 2021, 7:00 pm PT and is open to the public (see the registration link below).

Under Canada’s Wild Salmon Policy, the conservation of wild salmon and their habitat is the highest priority in the management of Pacific salmon. Hatchery production is used as a conservation tool for wild populations by DFO’s Salmon Enhancement Program and can increase the availability of fish for harvest, but is a risk factor to wild genetic diversity. This risk requires management and mitigation to safeguard Pacific salmon biodiversity.

In this presentation, Dr. Carrie Holt will describe these genetic risks and outline a proposed approach for classifying populations that reflects the adaptive state of the population based on proportions of natural- and hatchery-origin fish. She will further explore approaches for minimizing genetic risks of enhancement to wild populations. Except for populations near extirpation, limiting hatchery size by scaling the hatchery program to natural production is an effective way to reduce these risks. Limiting hatchery program size also limits the production of fish for harvest, resulting in a trade-off between genetic risk and socioeconomic benefits in enhancement programs implemented for harvest augmentation.

Carrie Holt is a Research Scientist with Fisheries and Ocean Canada at the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, BC.  She was raised in Toronto where she completed her MSc in limnology on the recovery of lakes from acid damage from acid rain. She found her way to the ocean for her PhD on the management and ecology of Pacific salmon at Simon Fraser University in the School for Resource and Environmental Management. She draws from her multi-disciplinary background in ecology, mathematics, and resource management in her current work evaluating assessment methods for Pacific salmon using quantitative models of population dynamics. She has also applied those models to evaluate genetic impacts of hatcheries on salmon that spawn in the natural environment.

Given the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, Comox Valley Nature has made arrangements to have a live, online webinar for the presentation. You will need to register in advance. Check the system requirements for attendees here.

Register here

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

This is an excellent opportunity for the public to learn more about this vital topic.

If you are new to Comox Valley Nature, find out more about us here.

Although CVN lectures are free, donations of any size ($4.00 is suggested) from non-members who attend are always appreciated.

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