Wild salmon runs: help coming this month?

September 6, 2020

What follows is another letter to the Trudeau government on behalf of the environmental group, Ecojustice.

It might be human nature: commitments made with ardent urgency at one point in time can lose their intensity with the passage of time. I get it. I’m asking you today to resist this natural impulse and make good on an important commitment made years ago on the campaign trail.

The Cohen Commission report of 2012-13 found a clear connection between reduced sockeye salmon runs and open-net fish farms. In one particular area of British Columbia, the Discovery Islands, a cluster of these fish farms makes for a perilous journey through narrow waterways for wild salmon making their way from the Fraser River out to open ocean. The transmission of sea lice from farmed salmon endangers the lives of the migrating salmon, but the issue is even more broad than that.

The Cohen Commission states: “Open net pen aquaculture, as currently practiced in British Columbia, has the potential to create problems for wild salmon populations because the pens are open to the environment, allowing wastes, chemicals and pathogens to move freely back and forth.”

These farms must be removed per Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise years ago during campaigning. Trudeau pledged to implement every one of the Cohen Commission’s 75 recommendations to remedy the problem of diminishing wild salmon runs in the province. Importantly, there’s a deadline coming up soon on one of the most important of these recommendations: #19, pertaining to the prohibition of net pen salmon farming in the Discovery Islands by September 30 of this year.

That date quickly approaches, and I’m concerned that we’ve not yet heard from the Trudeau government about whether you will keep your promise. Words can be great, but actions matter more. I urge you meet your deadline, and take action now rather than delay for any reason, be it for yet another round of further study or to compromise with the farming industry now that the Cohen Commission inquiry feels like a distant memory.

Wild salmon are a keystone species. They need to be protected.

I’m counting on you to do what was promised to Canadians on the campaign trail and remove all open-net fish farms from the Discovery Islands.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: