Salmon Early Marine Survival Research Program: Phase 2

Salmon are inarguably one of the most culturally, ecologically, and economically important fish in British Columbia, however, their stocks have been declining since the 1990’s. The Cohen Commission of Enquiry expert panel emphasized that juvenile mortality during the first months at sea was the most likely cause of fishery declines. This Mitacs project represents Phase 2 of a research initiative addressing the role of ocean conditions in the early marine survival of juvenile salmon. In partnership with the Hakai Institute the interns on this project will investigate the connection between physical and chemical conditions, plankton productivity and juvenile salmon health and survival. Phase 2 will continue research into the critical section of the salmon migration route through the Discovery Island and Johnstone Strait, but will also use the knowledge gained during Phase 1 to advance understanding of the migration habitat experienced by juvenile salmon across the coast of British Columbia, focussing on the food web support mechanisms. Using the Hakai Institute’s state of the art experimental facilities we will explicitly test the impact of ocean conditions on salmon food webs and the early marine survival of juvenile salmon.

Faculty Supervisor:

Brian Hunt


Anna McLaskey


Tula Foundation


Geography / Geology / Earth science


Environmental industry




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