Against the Current
Against the Current is a photo documentary project exploring stories from th unlikely coalition of individuals and communities living in British Columbia, who are together fighting to find common ground in their quest to protect and preserve what was once the greatest salmon habitat in the world.
Most people know Vancouver, British Columbia as a thriving, modern metropolis of the Pacific Northwest, the last stop before civilization gives way to the wilds of the province. Salmon know it as the last obstacle to pass through before they make it from Hope to the Salish Sea on their journey through the Lower Fraser River Valley. But it is not so black and white. Sockeye, pink, chum, coho and Chinook. These fish that run to the sea, only to return, each generation pulsing back to their natal waters, to the Fraser River, at once hold a mirror to humanity in Vancouver, and are embedded in the lifeblood of it. The city, like so many today, seems struggling upstream toward a rebirth; but just as for the salmon, there are heavy currents to overcome. Real estate prices have skyrocketed thanks to foreign investors, while traditional fishing and canning industries and the local jobs they provide flounder—wild salmon that once accounted for 60 percent of fishery profits now comprise closer to only 20 percent. Local politicians either champion or condemn the industrial development around Port Metro Vancouver’s expansion and export operations. Conservation teams struggle for funding to conduct even basic science that could provide the information needed to find solutions to wild salmon stock depletion; while indigenous communities battle for the right to sustain the cultures and the identities – inextricably linked to the salmon – that they have built over the past 10,000 years.