State of the Salmon
State of the Salmon Conference 2009

February 2-5, 2009 • Fairmont Waterfront Hotel • Vancouver, B.C.

» All photographs by Zander Speaks

About the Conference

Buzz Holling

"The Olympics of Pacific salmon conservation"

Nearly 400 people gathered for the sold out 2009 State of the Salmon Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia from February 2nd to 5th. The only conference dedicated to the conservation of Pacific salmon throughout their native range, it was referred to by some as "the Olympics of Pacific salmon conservation" with attendees and speakers hailing from Korea, Japan, Russia, Canada, and the United States. In this unique international forum, scientists and resource managers, educators and artists, tribal and First Nations representatives, and non-governmental employees found common ground and inspiration for creating a "...more holistic approach to management."

David Suzuki

"The keynote session addressed the real elephants in the room with respect to salmon persistence and resilience."

Eminent keynote speakers including David Suzuki, Buzz Holling, and David Anderson, challenged future thinking about salmon—and humans—in light of impending climate change, underscored by an urgent need for international cooperation.

Randall Peterman

"A crash course on salmon conservation from all angles"

Plenary sessions (241kb pdf) provided "provocative viewpoints…cutting edge science…and progressive management strategies and visions," including Highlights from Around the Pacific Rim, Conservations Principles and Their Integration, and Innovative Approaches to Applying Conservation.

Salmon Music

"[Salmon conservationists] were able to have some important conversations that they just don't seem to have otherwise"

Plenary sessions were interspersed with vibrant social gatherings. The Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association on behalf of the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Sustainable Salmon Initiative opened the conference with a rousing reception. An evening reception at the phenomenal Vancouver Aquarium was sponsored by the Pacific Ocean Shelf Tracking project and Census of Marine Life. These events as well as a poster session on the final evening were an extremely valuable aspect of the conference: "It was exciting to see former colleagues and students, and to catch up on what they are doing;" "many new contacts, many renewals of old contacts, many cards and much information exchanged."

Randall Peterman

"Hopefully this momentum can be used to generate more tangible progress"

The conference wrapped up with a closing session focused on strategies and methods for developing an international salmon stronghold network. Well-received, participants said, "the simple dissemination and discussion of the stronghold strategy will have brought it to the forefront of thinking for people around the Pacific." "To me this felt like...something that gave the conference a greater reason and substance."

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