It has about 25 pages of text, is cut-to-the-chase stuff and you should read it. If the plan works out as described, we should be able to bring back wild BC salmon that DFO has, shamelessly, managed into extinction for 50 years.
I put some thoughts together based on parts of the report and sent it in to them. I agree with much of it, and think, that of the two criticisms I have read so far that the issue of hatcheries and genetics that the ENGOs are worried about, will be satisfactorily taken care of. The issue of not asking enough questions from the BC interior is fair, and the plan contains action to reach out to all areas of the province.
Here is what I sent in to the WSAC:
I am reading the new report and am in agreement with most of it. I have a few comments/questions for WSAC:
P6: “It must also be noted that investment in scientific study and data quality and quantity with respect to wild salmon management has been significantly reduced over the past several years.”
- Doesn’t this mean that the Integrated Fishing Management Plans for north and south BC have no factual basis?
- I caught that you got the PSF to do a stock assessment – can you give me a link to it? Note that my overall figure from assessing DFO reports is, in an average year, 73 Million in-ocean, pre-fisheries; 38M escapement.
P8: Reference 10 - Estimate of salt sport revenue: $1B. We all use this, but I looked at fresh/salt angling and came up with $2.52B, and if Strait of Georgia coho are brought back, an additional $200M – Pacific Salmon Foundation mid-point figure. My figure is public, published by the PSF.
P12: Habitat Protection – Re laws and enforcement, don’t expect much from DFO as it has chronically underfunded this. Read Randy Nelson’s, Poachers, Polluters and Politics. He was a director of Conservation & Protection.
P12: Habitat Restoration – Yes to this. But I don’t agree to employment ops until leveraged restoration has been done. Yes, to in-stream options like spawning channels; Big Q and Taylor are terrific examples of this work, and can serve as models. The San Juan – above the Harris confluence – that blew five years ago, is an example of a river looking for a good, large spawning channel project. Any river with old channels or a flat, bottom section has this potential – high water table, willow to alder coverage.
P13: Salmon Enhancement – No to Alaska’s ‘ocean ranching’ and no to other States’ ‘springer’ approach, both of which degrade wild genetics. But, epigenetics should be used here to make ‘wild’ hatchery fry. And sterilized, fin clipped fry make for non-reproducing stock, and terminal mop-up fisheries. Yes to sterilized, clipped netpen chinook for Southern Resident Killer Whales.
P 14: Data, Research and Science – After I crunch the new BC Stats/AG report on the fishing sectors, I will turn my attention to climate change research and make suggestions to deal with the issues. I will have many novel approaches.
P15: Governance – Yes to the first sentence.
P16: Fishing – Yes to terminating the herring roe fishery.
P16: Fish Farms – BC is behind the rest of the world in putting fish farms on land. The new US plants, Atlantic Sapphire, Whole Oceans, Nordic Aquafarms and Aquabanq, aiming at 218,000mt may well put the in-ocean BC industry out of business. Globally, Pure Salmon is aiming at 260,000mt. BC is less than 100,000mt. Here is a post of on-land good news, almost 100 articles in the last 3 months: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.com/2018/11/links-to-on-land-closed-containment.html. When you need info, ask me for it.
Note that fish farm sewage is a big cost to BC: $10.4B, my estimate makes the revenue of $777M only 7.5% of the cost.
P16: Climate Change – As above, I am working on solutions to the problem.
P18: Reference 14 - Support for the AG finfish committee on fish farms. I strongly oppose this.
P19: Strategy 1.1: Immediately: Provide support to 'provincial organizations' that are working to protect habitats.
I assume you will use the Pacific Salmon Foundation. As they leverage money 4 to 7 times, that means if BC puts in $15M each year for ten years, the cumulative effect is $600- to $1,050-million.
Without expecting DFO to do much, the simplest thing is to ask for the same amount of funding to the PSF, a drop in their $2.4B budget bucket, and they can claim to be helping out. That would make a cumulative total of $1,200- to $2,100-million in ten years.
P20: Strategy 1.3: Monitoring and enforcement. Make sure that BC does it and you don’t give any responsibility to DFO as they have done poorly and are not to be trusted. See P12 above.
P21: Strategy 1.4: Yes to both immediate tasks, and: do some restoration projects ASAP, prepare news releases and get them in the press, so the public sees the result of the WSAC process immediately.
P21: Immediate to Mid-term – invasive species. John Volpe’s science suggests that annually 153,000 Atlantics escape and are in 97% of swum Van Isle rivers. Please add getting Atlantics and progeny out of Island rivers – a good project for our indigenous brothers. I have several links to his work: https://fishfarmnews.blogspot.com/2017/12/atlantic-salmon-in-bc-rivers-bad-news.html.
P21: Mid-term: As DFO has been managing wild salmon into extinction for 50 years, I would not count on the Feds doing much. I would first get the cash for habitat restoration, and then talk about joint actions.
P22: Strategy 1.5: I would put out a news release on the selective nature of WSAC salmon enhancement plans which would ameliorate ENGO concerns.
P25: Yes to BC branding.
P25: Strategy 2.6.: Yes to better stats from BC Stats, but a separate report would be better for the ‘fishing sectors’. As noted, my estimate of salt/fresh sport revenue far exceeds what we currently use. Remember that DFO uses its stats to add more fish farms in BC. It’s revenue is only 7.4% of the sewage cost, but DFO doesn’t calculate sewage cost.
P25: Goal 3: Immediately: Yes to an on going structure within government for the Made in BC Wild Salmon Plan. The unit gets things done, and lobbies on behalf of salmon.
P26: Mid-term – Yes to an annual progress review of concrete action.
What comes next for WSAC?
Allison, FYI, these are the federal Estimates: https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/tbs-sct/documents/planned-government-spending/main-estimates/2018-19/me-bpd-eng.pdf.