The federal and provincial governments announced Friday that a nearly $143-million fund to help rebuild and protect B.C.'s chinook salmon stocks is open for business.

Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Jonathan Wilkinson was at Victoria’s Fisherman Wharf alongside B.C. Premier John Horgan for the announcement.

The five-year fund will be rolled out over time as projects come to the table that fit the criteria.

The initial announcement for the money was made last fall, and stakeholders are now eligible to apply for the funds.

Groups with a key focus on supporting salmon habitat and restoration, science and innovation as well as sustainability in the seafood sector are encouraged to apply.

“Our government understands the unprecedented threat that human impacts pose,” said Wilkinson. “We are responding with an unprecedented effort.”

The federal government will put up $100-million, which is 70 per cent of the funding, while the remaining $43-million will come from B.C.

“If we are going to preserve and maintain this extraordinary feat of nature,” said Horgan. “We are going to have to work together. Today we are doing that.”

It’s hoped that the fund will help bolster dwindling salmon runs to river systems while adding to the economy and feeding endangered southern resident killer whales.