"In barely three decades, a new study warns, Canada’s indigenous peoples will face a catastrophic loss in the fisheries that are the lifeblood of their communities and have helped sustain them for more than a millennium.
The study, released Wednesday, predicts that the wild salmon and herring the First Nations tribes use for food, ceremonies and trade will swim north with dozens of other species as the climate changes, the waters off the coast of British Columbia warm and the fish pursue colder areas. According to the report, authored by researchers at the University of British Columbia and published in PLOS One, half of these communities’ fisheries will be lost by 2050 unless global carbon emissions are mitigated and the pace of temperature change slowed.
“Climate change is likely to lead to declines in herring and salmon, which are among the most important species commercially, culturally, and nutritionally for First Nations,” said Lauren Weatherdon, who conducted the study as a graduate student at the university.'This could have large implications for communities who have been harvesting these fish and shellfish for millennia.”"