Salmon Biodiversity

There are six species of Pacific salmon (sockeye, pink, chum, coho, Chinook and steelhead) that have evolved over millions of years into hundreds of distinct genetic stocks in British Columbia, occupying a tremendously diverse mosaic of salmon habitats, from the coastal rainforests, to the boreal plateau, to the Rocky Mountains. Each of these stocks has developed unique behaviours and unique physical traits to best survive under the unique set of environmental conditions it encounters throughout its life cycle. Scientists have shown that maintaining this remarkable biological diversity helps to ensure that there will always be salmon populations that can thrive under the environmental conditions of the day. This biological diversity can be likened to a diverse financial investment portfolio which protects against market fluctuations. Overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, inappropriate use of salmon hatcheries, and climate change are the major threats to maintaining and restoring biological diversity of salmon in BC. Learn more about biodiversity on our Benefits of Biodiversity and Wild Salmon Policy pages. Also see efforts being made to improve management of Fraser sockeye on our Fraser Sockeye Inquiry page.