IYS

Visit the IYS website for events and projects near you!

The International Year of the Salmon (IYS) is a project launched by NPAFC and the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO) and other partners. The IYS focal year will be 2019, with projects and activities starting in 2018 and continuing into 2022.

The IYS is an international framework for collaborative outreach and research. Through outreach efforts the IYS will raise awareness of what humans can do to better ensure salmon and their varied habitats are conserved and restored against the backdrop of increasing environmental variability, and thus the overall theme is ‘salmon and people in a changing world‘. The IYS will stimulate an investment in research and leave a legacy of knowledge, data/information systems, tools, and a new generation of scientists better equipped to provide timely advice to inform rational management of salmon and build resilience for salmon and people.

The IYS organization includes independent Pacific and Atlantic IYS steering committees, which will include key partners and oversee outreach activities, identify research priorities, support fund raising and establish reporting procedures. Outreach and research will be planned at three spatial scales—the hemispheric or “salmosphere” scale, the basin scale (Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic or Baltic), and at the local coastal level.

The following broad scientific themes have been identified for the IYS:

    • Status of Salmon: to understand the present status of salmon and their environment
    • Salmon in a changing salmosphere: to understand and quantify the effects of natural environmental variability and anthropogenic factors affecting salmon distribution and abundance and to make projections of their future changes
    • New Frontiers: to develop new technologies and analytical methods to advance salmon science and to explore the uncharted regions of the salmosphere
    • Human Dimension: to investigate the cultural, social, and economic elements that depend upon sustainable salmon populations
    • Information Systems: to develop an integrated archive of accessible electronic data collected during the IYS and tools to support future research

Outreach, Engagement, and Education are also key components of the IYS. This includes improving public and political awareness of:

    • salmon’s cultural, social, and economic importance
    • the challenges salmon face from major environmental changes and human impacts

International Year of the Salmon Theme Counsel Groups Members

  • TCG-1 (Status of Salmon and Salmon in a Changing Salmosphere): Cameron Freshwater, Sue Grant, Chrys Neville, Masahide Kaeriyama, Yasuyuki Miyakoshi, Hiromichi Ueno, Ju Kyoung Kim, Hwa Hyun Lee, Igor Melnikov, Andrew Munro, Ed Farley, Sabrina Garcia
  • TCG-2 (Human Dimension): Valerie Berseth, Jennifer Nener, Ann-Marie Huang, Shuiti Abe, Jun Aoyama, Kentaro Morita, Aleksander Bugaev, Marysia Szymkowiak
  • TCG-3 (New Frontiers and Information Systems): Scott Akenhead, Shelee Hamilton, Brett Johnson, Kazushi Miyashita, Shunpei Sato, Sang-Seon Yun, Olga Temnykh, Dion Oxman, Jordan Watson
  • TCG-4 (Outreach and Communication): Megan Nesseth, Louise Girouard, Karen Geiger, Shigehiko Urawa, Kengo Suzuki, S.S. Yun, Camille Jasinski, Sergei Makeev, Andrew Gray

Outline Proposal for an IYS ‘Salmon and People in a Changing World
NPAFC Doc. 1663 May 2016 Download

First Proposal for an International Year of the Salmon
April 2015 Download

Overall IYS Timeline
YearsActivities
2016 & 2017Planning, coordinating, enlisting partners, contributors
2018Opening event, outreach
2018 & 2019Field seasons, new data collection, outreach
2020–2022Final analysis, wrap-up, publication, archiving

2020 GULF OF ALASKA EXPEDITION: RETURN OF THE PACIFIC LEGACY

The International Year of the Salmon (IYS) and Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) are happy to announce the successful completion of the second Gulf of Alaska Expedition with the safe arrival of Canadian charter vessel Pacific Legacy and their international team of scientists to Victoria Harbour on April 7th 2020. Scientists on the vessel were studying the factors that regulate the abundance of salmon during the ocean residence and determining if these surveys can provide an early measure to the number of salmon that will return to North American rivers.

This expedition follows the first international expedition last year aboard the Russian research vessel the R/V Professor Kaganovskiy that carried out similar studies in the Gulf of Alaska. In this second expedition, there were 51 stations spaced out over the southern Gulf of Alaska, each about 8 hours apart. At each station there were extensive oceanographic measurements and a trawl net fished at the surface for one hour. Numerous samples were collected from all salmon including a tissue sample for DNA analysis which will identify the exact spawning location.

The Pacific Legacy set sail with 12 scientists from Canada, Russia, and the United States on March 11th, 2020. Due to the ongoing situation regarding the pandemic, scientists from the United States disembarked the ship during a routine stop in Prince Rupert as a precaution against the possibility of borders being closed between the neighboring countries. Upon arrival, scientists from Russia were unable to return home right away due to the pandemic, and are currently working on the cruise report at their colleague’s home in Nanaimo, B.C. Despite the changing landscape, scientists continue to take this unique opportunity to finally get back to studying the factors that are regulating salmon abundance as they work on their research and findings from the expedition.

Data collected from both expeditions are being made available to all interested researchers and a conference will be held when possible to bring researchers from both expeditions together to finalize interpretations and publish the findings. Although we were unable to hold a media event to welcome the Pacific Legacy home, we are considering a virtual briefing to provide more information to the media next month.

This second expedition is part of the International Year of the Salmon and is supported by the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission and the Pacific Salmon Foundation. The expedition was privately funded by the organizations whose logos are attached and organized by Dick Beamish, Brian Riddell and the participants.

About International Year of the Salmon
International Year of the Salmon (IYS) is a 5-year initiative to establish the resilience of salmon and people in a changing world. It is a hemispheric partnership being led by the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC) in the North Pacific, the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO) in the North Atlantic, as well as by NGOs, private sector, government and academic organizations.

About Pacific Salmon Foundation
The Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) is a federally incorporated non-profit charitable organization dedicated to the conservation and restoration of wild Pacific salmon and their natural habitats in British Columbia and the Yukon. Operating independently from government, The Foundation facilitates dialogue and undertakes positive initiatives in support of Pacific salmon amongst all levels of government including First Nations; as well as industry, communities, individual volunteers and all fishing interests.

Access to the 2020 Gulf of Alaska Expedition web page can be found here:
https://yearofthesalmon.org/gulf-of-alaska-expedition2020/
Credited photos from the 2020 Gulf of Alaska Expedition are available on the IYS Flickr page:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/145318619@N06/albums/72157713890289512

Please feel free to tag us, share our posts, and circulate this press release on your social media networks and to use the following photo (Credit to: Svetlana Esenkulova)

For more information regarding the 2020 Gulf of Alaska Expedition, please contact Dr. Richard Beamish (rabeamish@shaw.ca) or Dr. Brian Riddell (briddell@PSF.CA) . For more information regarding the virtual briefing please contact IYS Director Mark Saunders (msaunders@yearofthesalmon.org).

Quotes:
“There is one thing that is crystal clear – that is that both of these expeditions provide ample evidence that we need to understand the bigger picture of what regulates salmon abundance… That bigger picture is the time that they are spending in the ocean outside of the coastal area and we really know very little about it… These kinds of expeditions are difficult to mount because they are expensive and require about four weeks on the water”
Richard Beamish as quoted by Carla Wilson in “Ship returns after international team spends month at sea studying salmon”, Times Colonist, published 04/08/2020

Thank you to our sponsors.

IYS Photo Challenge in the North Pacific

To help celebrate the launch of the International Year of the Salmon (IYS), the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC) held the IYS Photo Challenge in the North Pacific from September 1 to October 31, 2018. On November 14, 2018, the NPAFC announced the winner of the Photo Challenge—Fernando Lessa, a resident of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The IYS Photo Challenge was put on by the NPAFC to stimulate public interest in the IYS and to celebrate what salmon mean to citizens of NPAFC Member Countries. The topic of the Photo Challenge was ‘salmon and people in a changing world’, and participants were also encouraged to incorporate any of the six themes of IYS: status of salmon, salmon in a changing salmosphere, new frontiers, human dimension, information systems, and outreach and communication. Many outstanding submissions were received, making it very difficult to determine a winner. The judges agreed that Mr. Lessa’s photo “Releasing some chinook fry in Surrey!” was the best representation of the challenge theme.

IYS North Pacific Opening Event (October 11, 2018)

This event took place on October 11, 2018 in Vancouver, BC. At the event, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, officially announced the IYS in the North Pacific. This was followed by speeches from British Columbia Premier John Horgan, Chief Bob Chamberlin and dignitaries from NPAFC member countries Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States.

Media Release for the IYS North Pacific Opening Event
View PDF

2020 IYS North Pacific Steering Committee & IYS Working Group Meetings (February 2020)

These meetings took place on February 25 to 28, 2020, in Vancouver, BC. The purpose of these meetings was to review progress made on the IYS to date and to discuss updates on Signature Projects including reviewing the 2020 and 2021 High Seas Expedition plans, discussing the implementation of the Theme Counsel Groups (TCG), and effectiveness of IYS communications and outreach.

Report of the IYS North Pacific Steering Committee Meeting
April 2020 NPAFC Doc. 1914

Report of the IYS Working Group Meeting
April 2020 NPAFC Doc. 1913 Rev. 3

2019 IYS North Pacific Steering Committee & IYS Working Group Meetings (January 2019)

These meetings took place on January 20 to 22, 2019, (North Pacific Steering Committee meeting on January 21‒22, and IYS Working Group meeting on January 20 and 21) in Vancouver, BC. The purpose of these meetings was to review progress made on the IYS to date, including Signature Projects and next steps, and to discuss the implementation of the Theme Counsel Groups.

Report of the IYS North Pacific Steering Committee Meeting
March 2019 NPAFC Doc. 1816

Report of the IYS Working Group Meeting
March 2019 NPAFC Doc. 1815

2018 IYS North Pacific Steering Committee & IYS Working Group Meetings(February 2018)

These meetings took place on February 5 to 8, 2018, (North Pacific Steering Committee meeting on February 6‒7, and IYS Working Group meeting on February 5 and 8 in Vancouver, BC. The purpose of these meetings was to review progress in 2017 and develop funding strategies for Signature Projects and research theme projects identified by expert teams.

Report of the IYS North Pacific Steering Committee Meeting
April 2018 NPAFC Doc. 1770

Report of the IYS Working Group Meeting
March 2018 NPAFC Doc. 1750

2017 IYS North Pacific Steering Committee Meeting (February/March 2017)

This meeting took place on February 28 to March 1, 2017, (North Pacific Steering Committee meeting) and March 2, 2017, (Small Working Group meeting) in Richmond, BC. The purpose of this meeting was to develop operating procedures, outreach plans, and to identify research priorities, plans and funding strategies based on the various research themes.

Report of the IYS North Pacific Steering Committee Meeting
April 2017 NPAFC Doc. 1712

Report of the IYS Working Group Meeting
May 2017 NPAFC Doc. 1729

2nd IYS Scoping Meeting (March 2016)

This meeting took place on March 15–16, 2016, (full group meeting) and March 17, 2016, (Working Group meeting) in Vancouver, BC. The purpose was to bring together potential research partners and funders to develop a business plan (administration and funding model) and to clarify outreach and research administration to implement the IYS.

Report of the IYS 2016 Scoping Workshop
April 2016 NPAFC Doc. 1658

1st IYS Scoping Meeting (February 2015)

This meeting took place on February 17–18, 2015, (full group meeting) and February 19, 2015, (Study Group meeting) in Vancouver, BC. The main objectives of the workshop were to:

    • develop a list of major scientific issues that will, or are likely to, affect salmon production in the foreseeable future, and around which an IYS could be developed and funded
    • identify the unknowns and scientific questions related to each issue
    • discuss the scope (spatial, temporal, species) of an IYS that will be needed to answer the questions (test the hypotheses)

Report of the IYS Study Group Scoping Workshop
April 2015 NPAFC Doc. 1602

IYS Working Group Members

Mark Saunders, Chairperson, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Jim Irvine, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Nanaimo, BC, Canada
Sue Grant, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Jackie King, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Nanaimo, BC, Canada
Shunpei Sato, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, Sapporo, Japan
Kengo Suzuki, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, Sapporo, Japan
Shigehiko Urawa, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, Sapporo, Japan
Ju Kyoung Kim, Korea Fisheries Resources Agency (FIRA), Gangwon-do, Republic of Korea
Suam Kim, Pukyong National University (PKNU), Busan, Republic of Korea
Sung Jin Yang, Korea Fisheries Resources Agency (FIRA), Gangwon-do, Republic of Korea
Sang-Seon Yun, Project Manager, Big River Scientific LLC, WA, USA
Igor Melnikov, TINRO-Center, Vladivostok, Russian Federation
Aleksei Somov, TINRO-Center, Vladivostok, Russian Federation
Andy Gray, National Marine Fisheries Service, Juneau, Alaska, USA
Dion Oxman, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Juneau, Alaska, USA
Ed Farley, Auke Bay Laboratories, Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute, NMFS, USA

Organizations and individuals concerned with salmon in the Pacific, Atlantic, or Arctic Ocean and interested in IYS planning and making IYS an exciting and successful reality, please contact the NPAFC Secretariat.