Video: Historic Fraser Sockeye Fishery Caught in Hi-Def


In mid-September, Damien Gillis had the rare privilege to capture this year’s astonishing sockeye fishery, off the south arm of the Fraser River. Amidst the largest Fraser sockeye return in nearly a century – some 35 million fish – Damien caught up with the commercial seine boat Snow Queen, hard at work. During one of the last openings of the season, Gillis documented the “set” of a lifetime for Captain Mitch Ponak and his crew: over 35,000 sockeye in one seine. It’s all covered here in vivid detail in this entertaining 6 min video.

Much has been said about this year’s unanticipated sockeye return – including erroneous claims from the fish farm industry that it somehow “proves” open net salmon farms aren’t adversely impacting wild salmon; if anything, it has raised more questions than it has answered. On this sunny September day, however, these amazing sockeye were a welcome sight and reminder of what healthy wild salmon runs mean to the communities, cultures, and economies of the entire BC coast and province – and of why we should be doing everything in our power to give these fish a fighting chance.

The Snow Queen


About Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.

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