The Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST) (Annex iv, Chapter 5) identifies four Canadian Southern management units (MU): Interior Fraser (including Thompson), Lower Fraser, Strait of Georgia Mainland, and Strait of Georgia Vancouver Island. The objective of the bilateral Canada/US Coho Salmon management plan is to optimize total fishery exploitation to enable MUs to produce Maximum Sustainable Harvest (MSH) over the long term, while maintaining the genetic and ecological diversity of the component populations and to improve long-term prospects for sustaining healthy fisheries in both countries.
The PST requires the Parties, for the MUs originating in their country, to develop and document the derivation of the escapement goal or exploitation rate that achieves MSH; and exploitation rate caps for 3 status categories, Low, Moderate and Abundant for each MU.
This work is expected to support the development of methodology for determining reference points for data limited CUs / MUs and provide clarity on reference points for Canadian Southern Coho Management Units. Determination of reference points for PST status determination and associated allowable exploitation rates for Canadian Coho Mus builds on recent Canadian efforts to determine status of component Conservation Units. Additional work is now required to determine how these CU level status assessments will inform PST MU status determination. This process will require both technical and socio-economic evaluation.