What is one to say to someone who looks you in the eye and tells you something you know is not true? The reality is that DFO has been neglecting wild BC Salmon for forty years. I have lived here longer than that and have watched the number of salmon go down and down.
It is DFO's responsibility and after destroying east coast cod, they have been slowly making west coast salmon extinct. The Cultus lake sockeye for instance, and this year, even the chum down so far that the in-river gillnet is killing the Thompson steelhead to the point there is no point fishing for a legendary run, requiring a Spey rod to reach the distant lies.
DFO can't even keep enough chinook in the ocean to feed 79, er, 78, er... orcas in the Salish Sea. Very sad indeed. What is needed is immediate netpens of chinook, 200,000 each, sterilized (diploided/triploided) fry in the spring in a dozen different sites to put a quick 2 million plus chinook in the ocean for food.
The South Vancouver Island Anglers Coalition is doing just that, raising chinook for orcas in their Sooke Basin net pen project. Much more is needed.
Here is the letter written for Dominic LeBlanc by someone a lot like me, who wrote 5,000 minister's letters while working for the Ministry of Finance in BC. It is sad indeed to be on the receiving end of such moribund stuff:
SEP 26, 2017
Mr. D.C. Reid
Dear Mr. Reid:
Thank you for your most recent correspondence of July 21, 2017, regarding aquaculture in
I assure you that I am aware of your concerns, and those of the many British Columbians
who have written to me about this. I have had many discussions about Pacific aquaculture
responsibilities with my colleagues and fellow parliamentarians from the province.
As you may be aware, our government in Budget 2016 gave Fisheries and Oceans Canada
(DFO) $197 million to put toward fisheries and aquaculture science. As a result, a number of
studies have been funded.
Furthermore, my mandate letter commits DFO to act on Cohen Commission
recommendations. Since becoming Minister I have focused my attention on this area, and can
tell you that the Department is diligently working to meet this commitment. Senior
departmental officials, such as Rebecca Reid and Andrew Thomson, work closely with me in
fulfilling this commitment our government made to Canadians.
The Government of Canada recognizes the cultural, ecological, and economic importance of
salmon in British Columbia. The protection and conservation of wild salmon and all aquatic
resources is a priority, and DFO staff continue to work towards building robust regulations
that ensure that these resources are sustained for generations to come.
I appreciate your sharing your views with me.
Dominic LeBlanc, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
As I said, Dominic's staff looked me in the eye and lied. I have come to the view that, regarding fish farms, science is a trap. It is naive, hubris or a manipulation. Believing that in BC science will work when it has not worked anywhere in the world regarding fish farms, who then say the science is not enough, we need more science.
Norway has it right. It has grown fed up with the grotesque damage of fish farms and has not auctioned off any in-ocean licences since 2014. It gives out for free, on-land licences, a $9-to $12-million subsidy, based on the auction price. And fosters closed containment systems as well.
Marine Harvests is putting $100Million into closed containment. Canada is not doing anything.
Let's hope that the aboriginals putting down their foot, arguing that getting fish farms out of the waters is a matter of their rights, solves the problem. They don't want any more science, they have changed the argument to their rights. Clever. Let's hope it works.