- Certifier :
- Lloyds Register (Acoura)
- Certified status :
- Certified since :
- 08 Jan 2013
- Certificate expires :
- 07 Jan 2018
NOTE: This fishery is currently in re-assessment as part of the combined British Columbia salmon fishery
Chum salmon from West Coast Vancouver Island, Inner South Coast and Fraser River were certified as sustainable in 2013.
Chum salmon have an average fork length of about 70cm and weigh roughly 5kg.
Each female lays around 2,000-3,000 eggs, buried in gravel nests (redds). Fry emerge from the gravel between February and April, and immediately begin migration downstream. Chum may remain in estuaries and near-shore areas for days and months before entering the ocean.
Once adapted to marine waters, they rapidly migrate northwest to the Gulf of Alaska. Adult chum salmon remain at sea for 3-6 winters, before they return to their natal steams to spawn in the fall of the year. Once spawning is complete, adult chum salmon die.
British Columbia chum salmon are caught by seine, gillnet or troll gear.
Trollers catch around a quarter of the commercial harvest. They employ hooks and lines, suspended from large poles extending from the fishing vessel.
Seine nets are set from fishing boats with the assistance of a small skiff. Nets are set in a circle around aggregations of salmon. The bottom edges of the net are then drawn together into a 'purse' to prevent fish escaping. Seiners take around half the commercial catch.
Gill netters generally fish near coastal rivers and inlets, taking another quarter of the commercial catch. Salmon gill nets are rectangular nets that hang in the water. Altering mesh size and the way in which nets are suspended in the water allows fishers to target certain species and sizes selectively.