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Dr. Patricia Gallaugher wins conservation award

April 11, 2011
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Dr. Gallauger accepts her award December 7

Patricia Gallaugher of SFU Continuing Studies has won the 2010 Haig-Brown Conservation Award for her work with B.C. salmon conservation.

Gallaugher “has been a humble but driving force in salmon outreach and conservation efforts in B.C. for more than a dozen years,” said Craig Orr, the president-elect of The Totem Flyfishers, the club that presented Gallaugher with the award December 7.

Orr praised her work in developing recovery boxes, which commercial salmon vessels use to protect “by-catch salmon”—salmon species that have been caught accidentally. Without the recovery boxes, the fish are often too damaged to survive after being let back into the water.

She “has saved more steelhead and coho than most of us could imagine,” Orr said.

Gallaugher ‘humbled’

“I was humbled,” Gallaugher said about receiving the award, explaining that it also belonged to all of her partners. “I’m just the catalyst bringing people together to save salmon.”

Gallaugher, a fish physiologist and conservationist, directs SFU’s Centre for Coastal Studies and the Continuing Studies in Science and Environment program. She has organized SFU’s Speaking for the Salmon program since 1998.

The Speaking for the Salmon program includes workshops, think tanks, proceedings and video presentations that examine issues that affect the survival of wild salmon in B.C. A public forum called The Ups and Downs of Fraser River Sockeye, held December 6 in Vancouver, attracted nearly 200 people.