Hi Dominic LeBlanc
A few comments on your response to Fin Donnelly on fish farms, Mar 1, 2018:
- DFO has abrogated its responsibility for west coast salmon for more than 40 years and has been managing them into extinction. Your money below does not address the most important issue: freshwater habitat restoration. I have written on fisheries policy for 25 years. In my estimate, if both BC and DFO put up $100M over 10 years each, giving the money to the PSF, that would be a good start.
- Why are you appealing a court decision that prevents you from putting PRV infected fish farm smolts in the water? Your own scientist, Kristi Miller has shown that PRV causes HSMI, and the Morton work shows a higher PRV load in wild fish in fish farms areas, causing them to die before spawning.
- I have done several posts on your weak laws: www.fishfarmnews.blogspot.com. BC and all its residents want fish farms out of the water. You need to wake up, before BC residents will no longer vote for you.
- Thinking that science changes anything is naïve, hubris or a manipulation. You attitude is the naïve, you think science makes a difference. DFO has the hubris: we can solve any problem. Fish farms say, we want science, and when it comes in, says we aren’t to blame… we need more science, and so on; this is the manipulation.
- Putting fish farms on land solves virtually all their problems. It is time to take the enlightened approach and put them there.
- BC is now the only jurisdiction on the Pacific west coast that allows fish farms, with WA phasing them out the other day. How bad is the situation: In Alaska where they forbid fish farms, the commercial catch was a record 243 M fish in 2017; BC’s catch was almost non-existent. BC salmon numbers experienced their lowest returns in decades. It is DFO’s fault for abrogating its responsibilities for four decades.
- You closed sport fishing areas for 2018, for the Killer Whales. What you fail to note was that the reason for having to protect chinook for them, that DFO has failed miserably in its responsibility to put enough salmon in the ocean. DFO has been so remiss there aren't enough chinook for 76 killer whales. You should be ashamed of that.
Here is the exchange:
The Liberal rhetoric about strong regulations and environmental protection for salmon mean nothing. The burden of proof that PRV does not cause harm to wild salmon does not rest on the fish. The minister needs to act. When will the minister get these disease-ridden farms off the wild salmon migration route and on land?
Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague knows very well that our government is deeply concerned about the state of the wild salmon populations in British Columbia. We have invested literally tens of millions of dollars in enhanced science, monitoring, auditing process to ensure the protection of wild Pacific salmon remains a priority for our government. It is something our Pacific caucus has talked to us about over and over again.
We understand there needs to be robust aquaculture regulations. We understand that that conservation protection officers and increased monitoring is important, and we are going to work with the Government of British Columbia to ensure we have the toughest rules in place to protect this industry.