How do shifts in diversity in central coast sockeye populations link to changes in productivity?
Across British Columbia, sockeye productivity has declined over the last several decades and some have collapsed. Since collapse, two iconic Central Coast stocks (Rivers Inlet and Atnarko) have not recovered to historic levels, which has caused cultural and economic hardship for Indigenous peoples whose ancestral territory includes these systems. Both Rivers Inlet and Atnarko sockeye express an array of juvenile life histories and consist of more than one genetic group, however limited evidence is available on how composition has changed over time. Particularly before, during, and after collapse. This information is imperative to guide recovery efforts and reduce uncertainty in fisheries management.
Over the past three years, I’ve lived on the Central Coast and had the opportunity to participate in First Nations-led recovery efforts. My research will continue this participation and identify how juvenile life histories, sub-population composition (genetics), and growth have changed over time in these two stocks to directly support precautionary management.