Pacific Salmon Restoration Program
Pacific Coast Salmon are in a state of ecological crisis. In the United States, the vast majority of the wild salmon populations that once widely inhabited California and the Pacific Northwest are now at risk of extinction. The reason? Decades of over-logging of old growth forests, over-grazing, over-appropriation of water, water pollution and the deliberate blockage of fish migration routes have resulted in the widespread destruction and blockage of critical spawning and rearing habitat.
IFR is working for change. The Pacific Salmon Restoration Program advocates for reforms in land use practices known to destroy salmon habitat. In the past, IFR has successfully advocated for dam removals, improved pesticide controls, and enhanced conservation regulations. Research is also vital to the program’s success. For this reason, IFR has created a robust software application, the Klamath Resource Information System (KRIS), which integrates pertinent fishery and watershed information for use in conservation efforts.
Local & Seasonal Seafood Program
IFR initiated a collaborative effort between commercial fishermen, seafood restaurants, and farmers markets to promote increased awareness of the benefits of locally harvested seafood and to connect the demand for fresh high quality seafood to local supply. The Local & Seasonal Seafood Program educates the public as to where to purchase local seafood and it also provides consumers information when local fish is in season so that consumers can make informed decisions.
As certain fish species begin to decline, or as individuals capitalize on a new area of the marine market, aquaculture is on the rise internationally. The Bush administration is pushing for national Open Ocean Aquaculture programs as a way to combat the trade deficiet America faces in the seafood industry.
Unfortunately, many forms of aquaculture pose serious environmental risks to human and environmental health. A few of the negative consequences include: dye and toxin consumption by humans, excrement and wasted food impacts, increased outbreaks of epidemics, and a net loss of protein. IFR is coordinating a collaborative nationwide effort, called the Wildfish Coalition, to bring together various stakeholder groups with leaders in California, Florida, Alaska, Washington, and Washington D.C.
Commercial Fishermen of America
Although commercial fishing is this country’s oldest industry, there has never been an organization in the U.S. that advocates only for commercial fishermen. IFR created and is coordinating the Commercial Fishermen of America (CFA) to fill this need. The mission of CFA is to promote the common interest of the fishing industry, provide a forum to foster professional collaboration among fishermen, and educate Americans about the profession of commercial fishing. Commercial Fishermen of America has an impact on national discussions of ocean management while at the same time making sure that commercial fishing and the communities associated with it are not lost in the U.S.