Sockeye salmon prices to ‘skyrocket,’ report says

VANCOUVER — Sockeye salmon prices are forecasted to "skyrocket" thanks in part to climate change, a new report indicates.

The report, Out of Stock, was commissioned by Vancity Credit Union and authored by University of British Columbia professor Dr. Rashid Sumaila and postdoctoral fellow Vicky Lam.

"Without action, climate change will have massive and mostly irreversible impacts on ocean ecosystems and the fish they provide," Sumaila said.

They found that by 2050 the price of sockeye salmon per pound will have increased by more than 70 per cent of what it sells for today.

Their study found that by 2050 seven of B.C.’s 10 staple species will decline, with sockeye having the "highest potential decrease in catch" at 21 per cent, because of global warming.

According to the report, the province could see a 10 per cent decline in chum salmon and 15 per cent fewer sablefish caught. Moreover, it indicates the net increase in the cost of sockeye, chum, halibut, tuna and sablefish to the B.C. consumer could reach as high as $110 million per year, in 2015 dollars.

Statistics Canada reports that fish retail prices have increased more that 38 per cent over the past five years and that’s not taking into account the impact of climate change.

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