Thursday, 7 December 2017

Fraser Sockeye Collapse

I have come to the conclusion that BC salmon are collapsing. In Alaska, the opposite is happening. Their commercial harvest was 243 million fish in 2017, while in BC, right next door, the commerical take was almost non-existent.

This is DFO's fault. DFO has not done what is needed for forty years: fresh water habitat restoration.
Now, add fish farms and climate change. DFO doesn't even have good science numbers on the 9652 strains of salmon in BC, let alone put in $100 million per year for the next ten years for freshwater habitat. Min. LeBlanc is such a newby, he thinks that marine habitat needs restoring. That's what we get in Canada, with the federal government in Ottawa several thousand miles from BC. And DFO itself came up with the idea. What we really need is for DFO to give control over salmon back to BC. In the intervening time, it should be giving $10 million a year to the Pacific Salmon Foundation for freshwater habitat restoration. The PSF leverages every dollar 4 to 7 times.

And then we need to join out neighbours and get fish farms out of the ocean. On the Pacific coast, Alaska, Oregon and California forbid fish farms. Washington is bringing in legislation in 2018 to ban them as well, leaving BC as the only Pacific jurisdiction that has not banned in-ocean fish farms.

Here is a Globe and Mail report, posted on the Atlantic Salmon Federation's site:

See: "Now, scientists have determined that many populations of Fraser River sockeye are in such alarming decline that they should be listed under Canada's Species at Risk Act.

The recommendation, announced Monday by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, an independent scientific body that advises the federal government, is the most significant acknowledgement to date of the jeopardy facing the iconic red-bodied fish that was once the mainstay of British Columbia's salmon industry."

And see: "Under the Species at Risk Act, the committee's recommendation must now be taken up for consideration by the federal government. But Ottawa has a track record of failing to list commercially important fish, despite warnings from scientists that failing to do so could lead to population collapses. A recent report by World Wildlife Fund-Canada notes that only 12 of 62 species of Canadian fish deemed at risk of extinction have been listed by the government since 2003."

And: "A number of committee members said that, without more decisive government action, long-term prospects for sockeye and other salmon species on the Fraser are grim. Last year saw the lowest number of sockeye salmon returning to the Fraser since records began in 1893."

Although we have been told that the number of sockeye subcomponents to the Fraser run is about 110, for many decades, here is a recent assessment, that must combine some:  "In total, researchers identified 24 distinct sockeye populations on the Fraser, each connected to a different tributary system."

Here are the numbers on what status the subcomponents should have: "Last week, during a marathon session in Ottawa, scientists voted that eight of the 24 populations of Fraser River sockeye should be listed as endangered – representing the highest level of risk that the population could someday be lost. The committee determined that two other populations should be listed as threatened and five more designated "of special concern." The committee also voted that the remaining nine populations of sockeye still occur in large enough numbers on the Fraser that they do not warrant listing."

 Go to the Globe for the whole article:

And go here to witness the problems with Grieg Seafood:

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