Nov 01 2012
Posted by CHLY News as BC, Campbell River, Chemainus, Courtenay / Comox Valley, Cowichan Valley, Duncan, Gabriola Island, Government, Gulf Islands, Ladysmith, Lake Cowichan, Local Food, Nanaimo, Nanoose, News & Updates, Parksville, Port Alberni, Vancouver Island, Victoria |
For Immediate Distribution
October 29, 2012, Victoria – The report by Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cohen into the collapse of the Fraser River Sockeye run in 2009 should be interpreted as an alarm bell by the Federal and Provincial governments. Although the report is specific to Fraser River Sockeye, its message speaks loudly about the effects of human activities on all marine species, and on the need for sustainable practices to be researched, identified and implemented.
“The Green Party of BC is impressed with the implications of Justice Cohen’s report,” says leader Jane Sterk. “He acknowledged that climate change is the elephant in the room, raising once again the question of why governments and politicians are not acting.
“We are particularly pleased with the recommendation to curtail fish farms and to phase them out sooner rather than later if research confirms this industrial activity is contributing to the long-term decrease in our wild salmon populations.”
Green Party of BC urges the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to implement the main recommendations of Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cohen, including:
Green Party of BC concurs with Justice Cohen’s remarks that “Changes to the Fisheries Act by the federal government were poorly timed and considered. Regulations should focus on maintaining habitat and sustainable fishing practices, not just on the fisheries.”
Funding needs to be provided to conduct more research so that sustainable practices can be developed with regard to habitat and fisheries.
“I want to emphasize that the provincial government has a responsibility to act on Justice Cohen’s report. The province grants salmon farm leases and many of those are up for imminent renewal. This is the time to exercise caution. We call on the Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick not to renew leases on migratory routes and in the Discovery islands and to renew others only for short terms so the research Cohen recommended can be done,” concludes Sterk.