The Salmonid Enhancement Program (SEP) plays a key role in DFO’s work to conserve and manage Pacific salmon stocks. The program’s activities aim to rebuild vulnerable salmon stocks, provide harvest opportunities, work with First Nations and coastal communities in economic development, and improve fish habitat to sustain salmon populations. SEP broke new ground when it was launched in 1977 by working closely with citizens and schools to raise awareness of salmon conservation and to carry out hands-on community salmon enhancement and stewardship projects. Three of the program’s main activities are:
- Fish Hatcheries
- Resource Restoration
- Stewardship and Education
The first salmon hatcheries were large, concrete structures. SEHAB pressed for more natural, small scale developments, and FOC's policy was changed to reflect an increased emphasis in this area. Today, enhancement activities are more likely to involve restoration of lost or damaged habitat, or the creation of spawning channels.