Saturday, 11 June 2016

DFO is the Problem With Salmon in BC - DFO Officials in Ottawa are the Problem

Citizens in BC have had serious issues with DFO in Ottawa on how it does not manage BC wild salmon properly for a very long time. The letters I have put on my, all the way back to 1964 detail major misgivings BC has had with DFO (not staff in BC).


With the passing of the Harper government, BC has been happy to see the new Trudeau government signal more help for BC salmon. You will recall that BC has 99.8% of all the salmon in Canada, while half the country in the east, has only .2% of wild salmon.

Well, with Hunter Tootoo dealing with personal issues, and with BC still looking for the Cohen Commission findings to be acted on, including getting fish farms out of our pristine ocean, BC commentators are still having problems.

Watershed Watch put it this way, June 10, 2016 about meetings in April:

"But when we met with Minister Tootoo and senior DFO officials in Ottawa in April, it was clear that the same bureaucrats who ran DFO for the previous government were not in a hurry to follow their new orders. According to DFO, “acting on” Justice Cohen’s recommendations did not mean “implementing” them. Habitat provisions were not going to be returned to the Fisheries Act until extensive consultations took place (which could take years), and they were talking about rewriting the Wild Salmon Policy.

We were floored.
But not for long. We got to work organizing and lobbying to get Minister Tootoo and DFO back on track. We drafted this letter to Minister Tootoo that was endorsed by aboriginal, conservation, and fishing groups, and two former Fisheries Ministers, making it clear that we expect action on his to-do list."

So same old problem. As I have mentioned, I see that BC is starting to move in the direction of taking over salmon in BC from Ottawa.  

I would like you to know how many organizations and individuals, including two former DFO Ministers from BC, signed the group letter, sent May 18, 2016:

First Nations Wild Salmon
Alliance Union of BC Indian Chiefs
Pacific Streamkeepers Federation
BC Federation of Fly Fishers
BC Federation of Drift Fishers
The Honourable David Anderson, P.C., O.C., former Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and former Minister of Environment
The Honourable John Fraser, P.C., O.C., O.B.C., C.D., Q.C., LL.D.(Hon.), and former Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
Watershed Watch Salmon Society
David Suzuki Foundation
Wild Salmon Forever
Raincoast Conservation Foundation
SkeenaWild Conservation Trust
Neskonlith Indian Band
Steelhead Society of BC
Kingfishers Rod and Gun Club
West Coast Environmental Law
Living Oceans Society
Squamish Lillooet Sportfish Advisory Committee
Sea to Sky Fisheries Roundtable
Squamish River Watershed Society
Vicky Husband, C.M., O.B.C.
Mark Angelo, C.M., O.B.C.
Dr. Patricia Gallaugher
Squamish Streamkeepers Society
Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition
Georgia Strait Alliance
Clayoquot Action
Fraser Riverkeeper
Totem Flyfishers
Friends of Clayoquot Sound

The letter may be found here:

Here is a brief quote:

  1. “Act on recommendations of the Cohen Commission”. At a cost of $37 million, the Cohen Commission is the most comprehensive review of Pacific salmon management ever undertaken. We support Justice Cohen’s sensible recommendations and urge you to embrace their principles and fully implement the recommendations by the end of your current mandate.
  2. Fully implement all six strategies of Canada’s Policy for Conservation of Wild Pacific Salmon by the end of your mandate: (1) Standardized monitoring of wild salmon runs; (2) Assessment of habitat status; (3) Inclusion of ecosystem values and monitoring; (4) Integrated strategic planning; (5) Annual program delivery; and (6) Performance review. Brought in by the previous Liberal government in 2005, and neglected but left intact during the Harper years, the Wild Salmon Policy remains a foundational public policy with broad support from First Nations, fishing and conservation groups, and other British Columbians. Moreover, several of Justice Cohen’s recommendations focus on fully implementing the Policy as written. 
As above, the problem is bureaucrats in Ottawa. The Cohen tome has 21 recommendations about dealing with fish farms, and a direct recommendation for DFO to take them out of the water on Fraser sockeye migrations routes by 2020.

With Ottawa seen as the problem by BC residents, as above, I see the province moving toward taking over salmon in BC.

Please sign the petition to get fish farms out of BC's ocean and the Atlantic:

Here is another link to more information on what needs to be done by DFO in BC:

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