As mentioned previously, virtually all British Columbians are against farmed Atlantic Salmon in BC. Some 110,000 citizens have signed a petition to stop fish farm expansion and to get fish farms out of our pristine ocean and put them on land where they belong. See: https://www.change.org/p/restore-wild-salmon-ban-salmon-feedlots-in-bc. But Stephen Harper and the Conservatives will not do what we want.
Instead, Harper has thrown $15Million in the BC pot for habitat restoration. You will know from many posts in the past few months that with the environmental laws weakened and scientists fired, DFO isn’t doing much on other fronts, either.
Now, there is some good news and some bad news about the $15Million. The good news is that it was given to the Pacific Salmon Foundation in BC. The PSF leverages such money between 4 to 7 times with contributions from BC residents and businesses.
The bad news is that it is a drop in the bucket. My estimate of money needed for habitat is $500 Million, and, by comparison, last year’s money spent on Vancouver Island was a measly $200,000.
If you look at the cost of a recent project, the Clay Bank on the Cowichan River, for instance, that 400 yards of earth removal cost $1.5 Million. When you consider that there are 70,000 culverts, and this is only one kind of damage that prevents fish passage for feeding or spawning in BC, it is easy to see that $500 Million will get used up pretty quickly.
Just so you know, my figure for pre-fishery, in-ocean BC salmon is 73 Million in an average year. But there are only 170,000 in-ocean adult Atlantic Salmon in more than half the country, some six provinces.
In other words, BC has 99.8% of the salmon in Canada. Harper doesn’t seem to get this. So much for John Duncan on Van Isle.